Electronics giant Samsung has been threatening to launch its mobile payment solution, Samsung Pay, in South Africa for a few years now. Every time we’ve asked we’ve been told the hold up is with the banks… but today when we asked execs at the launch of its new QLED TVs, they confirmed a beta trial of the service is launching with Absa today, with additional banks expected to join the party next month.
At launch the service will only work with the Samsung Galaxy A5 and A7 (the 2017 models), the A8, Note 8, S7, S7 Edge, S8, S8+, S9 and S9+. It’ll no doubt work with the Note 9 that’ll be unveiled in little under two weeks. Depending on the device, users can choose to authenticate using their PIN, or the fingerprint or iris scanner on their device. Absa last week announced its intentions to begin supporting Samsung Pay, but didn’t give a timeframe.
The service supports not just credit cards, but debit and loyalty cards, too. And as it uses NFC, it should work with most tap-and-go supporting infrastructure. Moreover, in a boon for the consumer electronics company, it’s launching mobile payments in South Africa ahead of arch rival, Apple.
In addition to support for Absa bank’s cards, Samsung Pay will also support cards from Avios, British Airways and Virgin Money. One hopes that this will open the floodgates and other banks will get on board quickly. Also, we’re hoping to see support added for Samsung’s wearables — including it’s forthcoming updates to the Gear range — soon.
We’re not sure when the service will exit beta and go live, but Samsung owners who want to apply for early access to Samsung Pay can visit the local website to sign up.