Samsung Electronics is involved in detailed work with South African banks and regulators to launch the company’s Samsung Pay mobile payment and digital wallet service locally early next year.
The company’s South African director for integrated mobility, Craige Fleischer, said at the Johannesburg launch of the new Galaxy Note7 smartphone on Tuesday evening that Samsung Pay should be launched to local users in the first quarter of next year.
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” (MST).
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 China, Spain, Singapore, Australia, Puerto Rico and Brazil.
“We are quite far down the line talking to local banks. Unfortunately, these things take time,” said Fleischer. “There is an enormous amount of integration that has to happen in terms of switching and tokenisation, both MST and NFC tokenisation.”
He said payment standards have to be developed and formalised with “various” South African “organisations” before it is brought to market. He wouldn’t name the organisations when pressed to do so.
“We are working with all the banks, not just the traditional big five,” Fleishcer said.
He said that Samsung’s experience in other markets suggests the company needs to launch with at least 65% to 70% coverage, not only in terms of point-of-sale terminals that support the technology, but also bank customers that are able to take advantage of it.
“It’s quite a symphony to conduct at the moment,” Fleisher said. “There are so many different players, with different partners… We are working with everybody that is willing to work with us in this space, and at the moment everyone wants to work with us.” — © 2016 NewsCentral Media