Samsung Electronic launched its contactless mobile payment service Samsung Pay in the U.K. Tuesday (May 16) playing catchup to rivals Apple Pay and Android Pay, both of which have been in the country for nearly two years.
According to media reports, consumers in the U.K. can make digital payments via Samsung’s Galaxy S line of smartphones to purchases goods and transportation by tapping their mobile phones on contactless payment terminals. Although Samsung was early in the digital payment market, it was slow to launch in the U.K. paving the way for Android Pay and Apple Pay to grab market share. In the U.K., Android Pay is accessible on Samsung devices, creating an uphill battle to get users to switch to its digital payment service.
“Samsung Pay’s primary competition is Android Pay, and Samsung will need to offer some very attractive incentives to users if it wants to compete. Even more of a challenge will be getting existing Android Pay users to start using Samsung Pay – it is hard to see why someone would want to switch at present,” said Ben Wood, head of research for CCS Insight in an interview.
In a statement Kyle Brown, head of technology launch management at Samsung, said Samsung Pay is one of the key building blocks of its services strategy for the year. He pointed to Bixby, Samsung’s new voice-activated personal assistant; Samsung Connect; and Samsung Health as the other important businesses.
“Samsung is determined to get consumers to think of it as more than just a company that makes devices. Samsung Pay is just one of several initiatives where it is trying to add value to its products while establishing an ongoing relationship with its customers over the lifetime of a device,” noted Wood.
In order to win over wary consumers in the U.K. Samsung is using its secure smartphone system dubbed Knox, which the company says is the most secure mobile security platform on the market and is used by governments including the U.K. By using Knox, Samsung is hoping to convince users that their credit card information is safe and secure, noted the report.