Samsung is gearing up to let users of its Gear S2 watch make payments. Starting on Wednesday (Sept. 28), the Samsung Gear app on Android includes the option to enroll in the Samsung Pay beta for Gear S2.
According to a report, in order to get the option, users have to update their Gear S2 to the latest software update, update the Samsung Gear app on their smartphone and then opt into the beta program within the settings of the app.
The report noted the beta, which is U.S.-based, will only work with a Samsung smartphone since the Samsung Pay app for the Gear S2 needs to be installed through the Galaxy Apps store. What’s more, the report said it won’t work with the cellular-connected Gear S2 and Gear S2 Classic variants. Finally, the Gear S2 will only be capable of making NFC payments.
Separately, Samsung launched a new software update for the Gear S2 that adds several new features, including enabling users to install certain apps and watchfaces directly from their watch and set custom photos as the background for some of the pre-installed watchfaces.
The move on the part comes at a time when Apple is trying to make inroads in the wearable device market, launching the Apple Watch Series 2 earlier this month. The new iteration has GPS and is waterproof, appealing more to fitness-conscious consumers. It also got a big win in the form of Aetna, which announced earlier this week it would subsidize the Apple Watch Series 2 for its members and employees.
Although the Apple Watch isn't dominant in the U.S., it is making a killing in Australia. According to market research firm Telsyte, Apple Watch has more than 50 percent of the smartwatch market share Down Under, with the Samsung Gear and Fitbit Blaze following behind. The research firm found that smartwatch sales grew by 89 percent in the first half of 2016 compared to the first half of 2015. Australia’s focus on health and fitness, the use of health and fitness apps and the widespread adoption of contactless payments is driving the high adoption rates.