Samsung Previews Wallet Mobile Payment Platform: MWC
Samsung's mobile payment application is expected to launch sometime in March and is seen as a rival to Apple's Passbook application.BARCELONA, Spain—Apple has its Passbook mobile payment system, and now Samsung is taking the wraps off of its own, Google Android-based platform called Wallet, which the company showcased at its Developer Day event at the conference. Similar to Passbook, Wallet offers time- and location-based push notifications as well as the ability to store event tickets, boarding passes, membership cards and coupons in one central location. The app, which is not enabled with near-field communication (NFC) technology, is currently only in developer preview but the chatter around the convention suggests it will be released to the public in time for the expected launch of the Galaxy IV smartphone in March. Walgreens, MLB, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Lufthansa, are among the U.S. partners the company said it expects to have on board when the application goes live. In addition, Visa and Samsung announced a global alliance that combines Visa’s expertise in payments with Samsung’s mobile device technology. According to the agreement, financial institutions that are planning to launch mobile payment programs will be able to use the Visa Mobile Provisioning Service to securely download payment account information to NFC-enabled Samsung devices. Samsung has also agreed to load the Visa payWave applet onto its mobile devices featuring NFC technology. Visa payWave is the company’s own mobile payment applet that enables consumers to make “wave and pay” contactless payments using mobile devices.
“Samsung has been a pioneer in NFC devices and is again leading the way in enabling NFC-based mobile payments. The partnership with Visa represents a step towards a global mobile payment platform,” Samsung Electronics president and head of media solutions Dr. Won-Pyo Hong, said in a statement. “We believe that we have a strong value proposition for financial institutions that will ultimately allow consumer choice in NFC payments.”