Samsung’s Smartwatch May Come With Mobile Payments

Just days after Samsung Electronics conceded that its mobile payment platform would be delayed until the fall of this year, some media outlets are reporting that the Korean tech behemoth will offer mobile payment features in a smartwatch, possibly as early as the second half of 2015.

Citing the Electronic Times, of South Korea, Reuters reported on Sunday (June 7) that the as yet unconfirmed smartwatch would employ NFC technology to enable mobile on the device. That would mirror technology employed by Apple to support the Apple Pay function on its own smartwatches.

For its part, Samsung has said that its mobile payments platform, titled Samsung Pay, will be available beginning next month via “select partners” who at this point remain unnamed.

The company took a strong step against Apple in mobile payments when it announced in February that it acquired LoopPay, a mobile commerce platform utilizing technology that works with existing magnetic stripe card readers. That can help bridge the gap between onsite card readers and mobile payments.

Yet earlier this month, Samsung said the much-anticipated rollout of the mobile payments solution would be pushed out to September, after originally having been slated for this summer.

Despite some industry chatter that the pushout may be tied to competitive threats the Korean tech behemoth may be facing from Apple Pay, which of course is already available, Will Graylin, the Samsung exec who is co-general manager of Samsung Pay, and CEO of LoopPay, told MPD CEO Karen Webster that the delay has nothing to do with competitive worries, and everything to do with launch announcement logistics.

September, Graylin told MPD in an exclusive interview, should be a month in which the company gets the most “bang for the buck” in terms of being able to disclose new devices, and the merchants and programs that will be interacting with Samsung Pay right off the bat.

“If anything, we think that by the time we launch (in September), that we will have significant announcements associated with which banks, which networks are participating with Samsung Pay and even which merchants and which programs attached to merchants will all be a part of Samsung Pay,” Graylin said. “And that’s just a slight hint into what will be coming. Samsung Pay is in a great position.”

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