LG Electronics announced late last week that it has officially rolled out its mobile payment service in South Korea.
According to a report covering the announcement dubbed LG Pay, the service is similar to Samsung Pay, the digital payment service of Samsung Electronics. LG Pay is based on wireless magnetic communication technology, which lets users purchase things by touching their smartphone to traditional credit card payment terminals. Samsung Pay also lets users do that through magnetic secure transmission technology, noted the report.
LG Pay at the start will be available via Shinhan, KB, BC and Lotte, the four credit card companies, but the number supporting the payment method is expected to expand by the time September is over. Customers of LG Electronics’ G6 smartphone, its newest flagship device, will be able to pay with software updates. LG Pay will find its way into other smartphones in the future, the company said, according to the report.
LG Pay comes to the market certainly a bit behind the payments plays made by other handset rivals Apple and Samsung, both of whose platforms are available in more than 10 countries and on more than one model of phone. And Google has the benefit of already being there, since Android Pay is already available on LG phones — ditto PayPal. LG Pay, at launch, on the other hand, will only live on one type of phone — the flagship G6 model. And it is a costly flagship, with a $796 sticker price. Granted, that is still considerably less than the $900 the iPhone 8 is expected to cost when it debuts later this year — but certainly not an inexpensive phone. But the accessibility, at least for LG users, may be an issue that is short-lived — the firm has already noted that it will open up LG Pay on other phone models via a software update sometime after launch, according to reporting in Engadget. What is less clear is when, where or even if LG’s payments platform will be available outside of South Korea, since — as of yet — the company has made no announcement on the subject one way or the other.