People with certain models of Samsung's Smart TVs will soon be able to use their television remotes to make purchases from the comfort of their living-room sofas. Samsung revealed today that it is launching a Smart TV payment service, dubbed Samsung Pay on TV, with support for on-screen purchases using major credit cards, debit cards and PayPal, among other options.
The announcement comes five months after Samsung unveiled plans to begin offering a mobile payment service called Samsung Pay. The would-be competitor to Apple Pay had originally been set to launch in the U.S. and South Korea this summer, but is now not expected to become available until sometime in September.
Samsung hasn't yet announced a date for availability of its TV-based payment service, but the company said it will initially be offered in 32 countries. The service is expected to work on select 2014 and 2015 models of the company's Smart TVs, although capabilities might vary according to country and TV model, the company said.
'First Secure Virtual TV Keyboard'
"The payment service on Samsung Smart TV was designed from scratch to provide an easy and safe payment experience specifically for the TV," according to a post on the company's official Samsung Tomorrow blog. Users will also be able to transfer account and payment information from their Samsung mobile devices to their smart TVs without having to register again.
After registering payment and account information on a Smart TV, a user will be able to complete most payments within three steps, according to Samsung. The user first chooses an item for purchase, then selects the "Pay Now" button and enters a PIN number to complete the payment.
Through its partnership with PayPal, Samsung will enable users to make on-TV payments using their PayPal accounts as well as through credit or debit cards. The system provides enhanced security through Samsung's Secure Keyboard, which the company said is "the world's first secure virtual keyboard and input mechanism on a TV."
More Enhancements on the Way
At some point after the TV payment service launches, Samsung also plans to add the option for users to make premium, in-app purchases for a number of video games. The first set of titles to be offered will include Deer Hunter, Eternal Warrior 3, Golf Star and Casino World Championship. Other exciting enhancements are also in the works, Samsung added.
Users with Samsung mobile devices, meanwhile, will have to wait a bit longer for more details about the Samsung Pay system. That system, which is expected to become available first on the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, will use near-field communication for contactless payments and will also support payments via retail devices that process magnetic-stripe payment cards.
Samsung today also announced that it is implementing a new fast-track system for enabling security patches to the Android operating system used on its mobile devices. Announced in the wake of the discovery of the Stagefright vulnerability that affects almost all Android devices, the fast-track system will provide regular security updates about once per month, Samsung said.