Samsung Pay e-wallet to launch in Singapore on June 16

Mr Thomas Ko, vice-president and global general manager of Samsung Pay, with a supported Samsung Pay smartphone.
Mr Thomas Ko, vice-president and global general manager of Samsung Pay, with a supported Samsung Pay smartphone. ST PHOTO: TREVOR TAN

SINGAPORE - Samsung Pay, the Korean electronics giant's e-wallet system, will launch in Singapore on June 16.

At launch, those holding Visa and MasterCard credit or debit cards issued by POSB Bank, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, Standard Chartered Bank and Citibank will be able to use a compatible Samsung phone to pay at almost all retail outlets that accept credit cards.

Singapore will be only the fifth country to have Samsung Pay. It was launched in South Korea last August, followed by the United States in September. In March this year, Samsung Pay made its debut in China, while it was launched in Spain just earlier this month.

"We are excited to bring this service to Singapore consumers and we hope to introduce value-added services to drive and lead innovation in mobile commerce," said Mr Thomas Ko, vice-president and global general manager of Samsung Pay.

 

Samsung Pay allows users to register their credit card details on selected Samsung smartphones with Near-Field Communication (NFC) wireless technology. Once registered, users can tap the phones for payment on almost all credit card payment terminals here.

 

This is because Samsung Pay uses a proprietary Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology that works with both traditional magnetic-stripe credit-card terminals and NFC contactless payment terminals.

 

Unlike other contactless payment methods that are limited to transactions of $100 or less, Samsung Pay does not have this limit due to its MST technology.

Four Samsung Galaxy smartphones - the S6 edge+, Note 5, S7 and S7 edge - are compatible with Samsung Pay at launch. Fingerprint authentication is required for each transaction.

As of February this year, Samsung Pay has over five million registered users and recorded more than US$500 million (S$672 million) worth of transactions globally.

Rival mobile payment service Apple Pay was launched in April with support for American Express-issued cards only. But as of last month, Apple Pay also accepts Visa and MasterCard credit and debit cards issued in Singapore from five major banks - POSB, DBS Bank, OCBC Bank, UOB Bank and Standard Chartered Bank.

Apple Pay only works with contactless NFC payment terminals. This limits Apple Pay to only around 30,000 payment terminals in Singapore.

It also has a $100 cap for most transactions. But UOB has lifted this limit for some merchants, such as Singapore Petroleum Company, Caltex, Metro and The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf.