Three banks- Banco Santander SA, MBNA Corp and Nationwide-will support Samsung Pay at launch, with American Express Co, First Direct and HSBC Bank Plc arriving within “weeks,” said Kyle Brown, head of technology, content and launch management at Samsung UK. “We’re working with every banking partner in the UK so we’re bringing on new banks very shortly.”
Contactless payments are extremely popular in the UK A quarter of all card transactions are made using the technology according to a January report from the UK Cards Association, an industry body. Over 100 million contactless cards are in circulation within the population of 65 million people.Samsung Pay is late to the game in the UK Apple Inc.’s offering, which opened in the UK in 2015, and Android Pay, by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, launched in 2016. Both of Samsung’s rivals let users authorize purchases using their fingerprint. Samsung says that users of its Galaxy S8 will also be able to use a scan of their iris in the UK too, using the phone’s front-facing camera.
Samsung Pay is supported by the Galaxy S8, S7 and S6, all of which will be compatible with standard contactless payment terminals in the UK. Other Samsung devices, including its Gear series of smartwatches, are due to support Samsung Pay in the near future, Brown said.Samsung Pay launched in its home market of South Korea and the US in 2015, and has since rolled out to China, India, Brazil, Spain, Russia, Thailand, and Malaysia, as well as Sweden and the United Arab Emirates in April this year.
Technology companies are moving their customers away from passwords to reduce reliance on single modes of identification such as a PIN. A notable exception is London’s public transit system. Apple Pay requires users to scan their fingerprint to pay for a bus ride, for example. For these journeys, Samsung Pay users will not have to do this. The company has worked with Transport for London, the capital’s public transit regulator, to allow Samsung devices to complete a payment without authentication, as a way of speeding up movement through gates or turnstiles.