While it’s been well known that Samsung Pay was coming to Singapore, it now has an official date: June 16.
That means that come this Thursday, select Samsung smartphone owners can make a mobile payment using the mobile payments app. That is, for the users of the Galaxy Note 5, S6 Edge+ and the S7/S7 Edge phones.
Samsung’s move into the country comes after Apple Pay recently joined the region. But where Samsung has an edge in the area is that it can be used at more places because of its MST tech, which can make it possible to use Samsung Pay virtually anywhere credit cards are accepted. Apple Pay is only accepted at select terminals that accept NFC.
But why specifically has Singapore become all the rage for three major mobile payments players? The attitude toward NFC and contactless payments, and Singapore’s well-developed contactless ecosystem. Contactless transactions in Singapore can be made for up to $72. One bank, UOB, has lifted that cap for any retailer that uses that bank’s payment processing.
According to Visa, a third of all credit card/debit card transactions in Singapore retail stores are made with contactless cards. While the goal of Apple, Samsung or Google is all about getting consumers to pay via a phone (or watch), the fact that consumers are getting familiar with the tap and pay at the POS habit — and that it’s increasingly available at the places they like to shop — is what these players hope is an important first step toward mobile payments the NFC way.
Another important fact, as alluded to above, to this story is that Singapore is a fairly wealthy country (with its GDP per capita putting it at the top 10th percentile in the world). So they not only have contactless cards — and places to use them — but they also have money to spend.