Samsung Electronics said Thursday (Feb. 2) it is launching a mobile web payments service for all smartphones that use the Android mobile operating system in South Korea.
According to a report, the service will be called Samsung Pay Mini and will enable Android-based smartphones to make purchases online in South Korea after downloading the app. Samsung Electronics didn’t say if it will roll out the service in markets outside of South Korea. The report noted the move on the part of Samsung to launch Samsung Pay Mini comes at a time when the electronics company is looking for new avenues of growth. In the October–December quarter, Samsung Electronics dropped behind Apple in the global mobile handset market, marking the first time since 2015. Samsung Electronics was hurt by the Galaxy Note 7, which was prone to catch on fire and was taken out of production in an embarrassing and costly recall. The new service expands the company’s existing Samsung Pay platform.
According to the report, in the past, Samsung executives have signaled they would be open to offering Samsung Pay for non-Galaxy smartphones and add online transactions to the payment platform. The offline capability will be only with Samsung devices. In November, Samsung Pay confirmed on Twitter that the Gear S3 Classic and the Gear S3 Frontier will work with or without a Samsung smartphone. The devices can be paired with any Android smartphone that has KitKat or newer, and Samsung Pay will work. In late August, as Apple geared up to roll out the Apple Watch Series 2, Samsung was drawing its own line in the sand, getting ready to take on the competitors in the wearable device market. Samsung was following up on what Mashable said was the tech giant’s “well-received” Gear S2 with the Gear S3, which is defined in part by size.