Samsung Electronics has pushed out the launch of its mobile payments and digital wallet service to the third quarter of 2017. The company had said in August 2016, at the local launch of the ill-fated Galaxy Note7 smartphone, that it was aiming to launch the service in the first quarter of this year.
The company’s Southern Africa head of mobile, Craige Fleischer, said in a podcast interview with TechCentral on Friday that it now hopes to bring Samsung Pay to market in the third quarter, at the same time it launches the next version of the Galaxy Note.
The service allows people to “tap and go” to make purchases at a point of sale using near-field communication (NFC) technology as well as at normal chip-and-Pin or magnetic swipe terminals using a technology known as “magnetic secure transmission”.
Samsung first launched Samsung Pay in its home market of Korea in August 2015. A month later, it was introduced in the US. It has since been launched in a range of markets around the world.
“The big thing for us is we have one shot at getting this right,” Fleischer said in the podcast. “We had made a strategic decision that until we had got to 60% total market coverage, we would not [launch].
“We wanted every point-of-sale (POS) terminal to be integrated, and no matter which bank you use to have at least 65% of the market covered. Unfortunately, we didn’t reach that milestone [by the first quarter].”
He said the process was more “convoluted” than expected. “We found various different security issues and ‘hard codings’ in various environments from a POS terminal perspective that caused some issues,” he said.
“You have to understand we are also heavily regulated from a financial services viewpoint in South Africa. We are also quite advanced in terms of the security measures we put in place, and because of high credit card fraud in South Africa historically, we had to make sure the systems and processes they put in can work with our solution.”
“We will not launch a service that is not ready, and we want to ensure that consumers can utilise it everywhere,” Fleischer said. “I’m hoping we will be able to launch this product with [the next]Note, and it looks like we are there.”
He said local banks have been receptive to the idea of launching Samsung Pay. — (c) 2017 NewsCentral Media
- For more, listen to the podcast interview with Craige Fleischer