The trend in big tech this year just might be payment services, as Samsung is shaking up its in-house apps to introduce a revamped ‘Samsung Wallet' service.
The app, which is available now in the US and UK, is replacing both the payment card app Pay and the biometric password app Pass while introducing an integration with a third Samsung app, the cryptocurrency-centric Bitcoin Wallet.
This news comes in the wake of a wave of Apple payments news: The tech giant is bringing Tap-to-Pay to iPhones (and Square-POS-powered businesses) as well as launching its own Buy Now, Pay Later service. Now, we know what Samsung's next evolution in payments looks like.
The New Samsung Wallet
Anyone who's used to the payment functionality of Samsung Pay or the passcode-storing abilities of Samsung Pass can rest assured that they'll stay the same. But the new app adds more than a few new abilities and integrations, as the company announcement explains.
Here's the quick list.
- SmartThings integration — for managing data on smart home or car features
- Samsung Blockchain Wallet integration — for managing cryptocurrency
- Digital ID/driver's license storage (this feature isn't live yet)
The app is now available for Galaxy users in six markets — France, Germany, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
If “Samsung Wallet” sounds familar, but these tools don't ring a bell, you're correct: Like all tech conglomorates, the Samsung Group has been adding and iterating new products for so long that the number of app names can be confusing.
The short version is that an app called Samsung Wallet was first launched in 2013, designed to hold important documents like tickets, coupons, or your Costco membership card. In 2015, it was retired while Samsung Pay came to the forefront with mobile payments capability. Now, Pay is being combined with Pass, given new functionality, and needs a new name, so “Wallet” is getting dusted off again.
Digital Payments: So Hot Right Now
Digital payment services have seen a shockingly rapid rise in the last two years, due in large part to a certain global pandemic encouraging everyone to spend a little less time making in-person purchases.
In fact, according to McKinsey consultants, 2020 saw an acceleration of digital payment acceptance that analysts had predicted the market would take an additional seven years to reach.
In 2022, tech giants have had the R&D period they need to respond to that trend, and so we're seeing greatly expanded functionality from Apple Pay and now Samsung Wallet, as well as a crop of successful startups in the Buy Now, Pay Later field (though some may have over-extended themselves).
Staying Competitive Means Going Digital
What does that mean for a business manager? An increase in digital payments options for customers buying retail or restaurant products. The trend exists in both brick-and-mortar outlets — where all the best POS services can handle core digital payments features including Apple Pay — as well as in online sales, where a business will need an ecommerce website that can integrate with flexible payments services like Stripe.
The good news is that most services have been evolving to meet customer demand. The Squarespace website builder, for example, once only offered two third-party payment options, but today allows customers to buy through Stripe, Paypal, Apple Pay, and Afterpay. Hopefully, the website builder or POS system you're using can say the same.