Samsung Pay transactions hit $30 million

​Samsung Pay has raked in $30 million in accumulated transactions in the first month since it debuted in South Korea in August, Samsung has said.

Samsung's mobile payment service has seen $30 million in transactions and recorded approximately 36 percent of its users as active in its first month, with about 10 percent of those using Samsung Pay daily, according to the South Korean tech giant.

Samsung Pay is currently available for Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge owners, as well as those using the Galaxy Note 5. The firm said around 60 percent of transactions took place with the Note 5, which was launched earlier this month.

The figures are the first to be released by one of the giant tech firms competing in the increasingly crowded field of mobile payment services.

Samsung, Google and Apple are all touting the new payment method to become an alternative to shoppers paying with cash or swiping their credit cards at stores.

Samsung plans to roll out Samsung Pay in the US on September 28, followed by rollouts in the UK, Spain, and China.

Because of magnetic secure transmission (MST), Samsung Pay can be used in old mag-stripes which are still widely used in South Korea. Samsung said that thanks to "wide acceptance among merchants," 1.5 million total transactions were recorded up to Tuesday.

To use Samsung Pay, people open an account by entering their credit card information. They can then pay for what they purchase by merely tapping their phones on a point of sale device that uses wireless technology.

Apple Pay and Android Pay also use similar near field communication (NFC) technology to accept payments. Samsung is the only one with MST support, and has claimed that this was an advantage over rival services.

"Although the details on Samsung Pay usage are constantly being updated, the response we've received so far has been beyond our expectations," said Rhee In-jong, the Samsung executive leading Samsung Pay globally.

"We knew Samsung Pay would be a game-changer in the mobile payments industry and now with the user data, we are seeing the greater impact it is having on consumer behavior and on the lifestyle of our customers."

In South Korea, Samsung Pay supports IC readers, online payments using Samsung credit cards, and cash withdrawals. But despite the positive early numbers, an analyst from Shinhan Securities expressed a note of caution on how big an impact Samsung Pay might have in the US.

"We do think it has a technological advantage in being more easily accepted by merchants' current electronic terminals. But I don't think it can beat Apple payment system in the US, because Samsung Pay is a technology embedded into its hardware. It can only be used with Samsung phones like the S6 and the Note 5," said Kong Yong-kyu, the Shinhan tech analyst.

Samsung Pay is also to be available as part of the Gear S2 smartwatch, though it will only support NFC, not MST, in that version.

A Samsung spokesman said he had nothing to add to the announcement.

Source: ZDNet Korea (zdnet.co.kr)