Verizon Wireless hasn't yet decided if it will support Samsung Pay when the mobile payment service soon launches in the U.S.
That would be a blow to Samsung which has AT&T, Sprint and T-Mobile already on board as it tries to "out-Apple" Apple Pay.
The company is using a dual solution for Samsung Pay that works both with NFC and by sending short-range magnetic fields to simulate the data stored on the stripe of a credit or debit card. The latter became part of Samsung Pay when the company bought Looppay in February.
So what gives here? SamMobile reported on Tuesday that Verizon Wireless won't be supporting Samsung Pay, based on a Twitter conversation: The official Samsung Support USA team said "Verizon isn't part of Samsung Pay."
And it isn't. But it might be.
I reached out to my Verizon Wireless media contacts and was provided this statement on Wednesday via e-mail:
"We are in the process of evaluating Samsung Pay and we will keep our customers updated on any news regarding the service."
That means there's still the possibility that Verizon will be a Samsung Pay partner; perhaps not at launch but at a later date. Or it could decide tomorrow that Samsung Pay support is a definite; it's difficult to say.
I'm not trying to give Verizon a pass here. If anything, I'm leaning more towards skepticism since it -- along with T-Mobile and AT&T -- opted to forgo Google Wallet in favor of a carrier group with its own mobile payment system called Isis at first and then renamed as Softcard.
But Softcard was later sold to Google, so the carriers are out of the mobile payment business. As a result, I really don't see any reason for Verizon not to support Samsung Pay. It could be that the company is taking longer to evaluate the service, which is certainly Verizon Wireless' prerogative.
My hope, of course, is that it does become a Samsung Pay partner because in the end, consumers are the ones that would lose if it didn't become one.
Standards wars in addition to safe transactions have been mobile payment stumbling blocks and we're in the home stretch of resolving both of those problems.