Samsung Pay has been in the U.S. market for exactly 212 days.
But, according to the leaders of at least one of those mobile payments services, they still believe that it’s still the first inning. What could speed the game up a bit, according to Samsung Pay’s GM, is giving consumers and merchants what they care about most: loyalty, offers and a secure digital identity.
That’s why, for Samsung Pay, the next 365 days really matter.
“As far as we are concerned, we are just in the very beginnings of bringing out a secure, universal wallet for consumers to use just about anywhere — both in the virtual and physical environment,” Samsung Pay’s GM Will Graylin told PYMNTS in an interview.
So what does that journey look like? And what does a cardless future actually look like? Can it really be achieved, and if so — when? Well, that much isn’t quite known, but it’s a vision Samsung Pay is totally, 100 percent invested in.
“Having that [virtual] container to replace plastic cards and their current physical wallet is the goal,” Graylin explained. “We want to get to that point where that universal wallet is not only just a place where you can pay, but it can be used for things like loyalty, offers, [a consumer’s] identity. It’s a place to store credentials in a safe and effective way — and then to make it more convenient.”
After all, Graylin says, we all live in the 21st century with super computers “in our pockets.”
As we’ve all witnessed, however, regardless of how attached consumers are to their smartphones, that same affection hasn’t transferred to mobile payments. It’s a love affair that Graylin said Samsung is focused on seeing blossom over the next year.
“In the next 12 months, our key goals are to spread adoption and usage to many, many more users. In different ways and with a different utility that makes consumers’ lives easier, safer, faster, better,” he said.
But to really ignite, it might take a little more than that – and that means going outside of Samsung’s umbrella.
Partnerships, Graylin believes, are the key, especially with FIs who can leverage the “universal container” and have their cards provisioned there for easy use by their customers and merchants who can provide an incentive to consumers to shop at their stores.
Samsung Pay started life with a bit of an acceptance leg up because of the decision Samsung made more than a year ago to acquire LoopPay, a Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) patented technology that allowed existing mag stripe readers to mimic mobile contactless receivers (making it able to be used at 90% of merchant establishments).
Samsung Pay’s Evolution
Samsung Pay officially became a card-carrying member of the mobile payments ecosystem in September 2015 — just about a year after Apple Pay launched. It launched with support from all the major card networks and some big issuers.
Since then, it’s pushed its partnership philosophy to the max.
Take, for example, its most recent pair-up with POS makers last week (April 20) to boost support for its mobile payments platform. This includes a range of players such as Verifone, Ingenico Group, First Data/Clover, as well as PAX Technology, Equinox, ID TECH, MagTek, USA ePay and OTI Global.
This certainly helps Samsung boost its claim that Samsung Pay is the “world’s most accepted mobile payments platform,” partnerships that will, in their words, “ensure maximum compatibility and universal acceptance for Samsung Pay.”
That same week saw news of new bank partnerships. Samsung Pay says that roughly 130 banks and credit unions support Samsung Pay, representing 75 percent of the U.S. debit and credit card market.
Still, as Graylin emphasized time and time again, as much progress as has been made, there’s more to be done. More merchants, more banks and more consumers. That’s the payments trifecta. As Graylin acknowledges, “There’s a lot to be done, we’re just at the very beginning.”