As other mobile payment platforms have established footholds in the market, Samsung has decided to retire its Samsung Wallet payment platform. Come the end of June, Samsung will shut down Wallet to devote its energies to Samsung Pay, which it hopes will take a bite out of leader Apple Pay.
Samsung explained the move on its Web site by stating that the usage rate of Samsung Wallet is not feasible and does not justify the continuation of the service. Samsung also notified Samsung Wallet users of the move via e-mail.
"Since our announcement at MWC (Mobile World Congress) and our launch in 2013 we have tried to make Samsung Wallet a successful service that would help users throughout their daily lives and help our partners reach their customers in new ways," the company said on its Web site.
"Unfortunately, the usage rate of Samsung Wallet was not what anyone expected. One of our company’s core values is to guarantee the best user experience," according to Samsung. "We feel today that we can no longer guarantee this experience. This is why we have officially decided to discontinue Samsung Wallet on June 30, 2015 in all counties. We greatly appreciate all your support and enabling Samsung users to enjoy your content and service through Samsung Wallet."
Apple Pay Competitor?
Samsung recommended that developers and partners remove all buttons related to Samsung Wallet from their apps and Web properties by going to Load, Open, View Samsung Wallet and Buttons. That way, users are less likely to get confused by clicking buttons after Samsung Wallet service is terminated. Samsung said.
The company also recommended that users discard the API, documents, and any other data related to Samsung Wallet API after the Samsung Wallet service is terminated. Samsung said its customer service staff will be available to answer questions at https://help.content.samsung.com/csseller.
Samsung Pay will be available on the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, and is being touted as superior, or at least comparable, to its main competitors, Google Wallet and Apple Pay. Samsung recently paid $250 million to buy LoopPay, which holds the patented MST (magnetic strip transmission) technology that will be used to power the new payment system.
With the acquisition of LoopPay, Samsung said that its new mobile payment system will automatically be compatible with more than 90 percent of merchants, given that most merchants rely on magnetic strip readers. Apple Pay and Google Wallet use NFC (near field communications) technology for their mobile payment systems, making it less automatic for adoption by merchants.
Samsung hasn’t disclosed how many Samsung Wallet users there are. The platform debuted in early 2013 with launch partners like Walgreens, Expedia, and Lufthansa. The SamMobile Web site reported that saved tickets and reservations will remain available on Samsung Wallet after it’s shut down. Users, though, will no longer be able to complete new actions after June 30.
Samsung Pay will be launched in the United States and South Korea this summer, and rolled out to other countries after that.