Samsung continued its market by market rollout of Samsung Pay with launch of its app in the UK, which includes the facility to pay for public transport journeys within London.
The launch is the latest of a number made during the first part of 2017, with the service promoted alongside the availability of its new flagship handsets, the Galaxy S8 and S8+.
In recent weeks the company announced the app’s launch in Sweden, the UAE and forthcoming availability in Hong Kong and Switzerland. In March, Samsung made the service available in the hugely competitive payments market of India.
While announcing the UK launch, Samsung also revealed customers using its latest flagship devices would be able to use its iris scanner as an additional authorisation option.
Its partners in the UK include Mastercard, Visa, MBNA, Nationwide and Santander.
The company also struck an agreement with London Transport provider Transport for London (TfL) to enable payments for journeys on the London Underground, bus and train services. Similar services are already available with contactless debit cards, TfL Oyster cards, Apple Pay and Android Pay.
Analyst company Juniper Research in April predicted Samsung Pay’s user base will rise from 12 million users at end-2016 to 34 million users by the close of 2017.
However, the figure still puts the service well below the user numbers anticipated for Apple Pay.
IHS Markit mobile and telecoms analyst Ruomeng Wang said Samsung Pay’s ability to support both NFC and Magnetic Secure Transmission based payments would differentiate its service from rivals, despite its late market entry.
“Samsung Pay’s late arrival indicates the UK is a market Samsung cannot afford to miss,” Wang added. “Samsung must spare no effort to develop partnerships with local banks, financial institutions and merchants to drive adoption by Samsung users, which includes converting those who are using Android Pay.”
“Leveraging its merchant network and offering attractive incentives for Samsung Pay users, such as Samsung’s reward programme, which allows users to exchange the reward points at Samsung.com or as gift cards from major retailers, can be a winning competitive strategy in the UK.”