Apple Pay still has the majority of the mindshare when it comes to mobile payment but Google Pay is closely catching up. Samsung Pay, on the other hand, seems to have fallen by the wayside but still has a trick or two up its sleeve. Aside from the MST tech that makes it compatible with even traditional magstripe terminals, Samsung is launching the service in Germany with a feature it has not made available anywhere else, making it practically possible to link any bank account to Samsung Pay.
The way mobile payment systems work is that companies like Samsung, Apple, or Google make deals with individual banks in countries where they are expanding. That means only customers of those banks will actually be able to take advantage of the phone-based payment system which, in turn, means the adoption of the service is also limited. Not a problem if you’re a giant that can strike up a deal with multiple banks all at once but Samsung seems to have thought of a different way around that.
In Germany, Samsung has partnered with Visa and fintech company Solarisbank AG to bring Samsung Pay to the country. It didn’t partner with a specific bank and is instead relying on Visa’s network to do the heavy lifting. When users sign up for Samsung Pay, Visa issues a virtual Visa debit card that can then be used to link to almost any German bank account.
This is an admittedly novel arrangement and it is also the first time Visa is providing this service in Europe. This could definitely make it easier to start using Samsung Pay, especially since Solarisbank’s sign-up process doesn’t require an in-person branch visit or even video identification.
The catch is that Samsung Pay in Germany is starting out as a beta service first, albeit an open beta one. The list of supported devices is limited to the Galaxy S and Galaxy Note flagships starting with the Galaxy S10 but excluding any Lite model. If all goes well, the service will be publicly available on October 28.