Samsung launches its contactless mobile payment solution in the UK

South Korean firm set to take on more established Apple Pay and Google Android Pay in UK's contactless mobile payments market

Samsung Pay, a contactless mobile payment solution, has now officially launched in the UK, enabling users of its Galaxy S8, S7 and S6 models to pay for goods, services and transport with a tap of their smartphone.

The South Korean technology company is set to challenge the likes of Apple Pay – which launched in the UK nearly two years ago – and the Google’s Android Pay in the competitive contactless mobile payments market.

Samsung Pay has a deal with Transport for London (TfL) enabling a users’ credit or debit card to be their designated travel card, meaning their phone screen doesn’t have to be on a particular card each time they want to use a bus or the tube. This sets it apart from Apple Pay, which requires the payment to be authenticated.

However, unlike in the US and other markets, Samsung Pay in the UK only uses the contactless system and not the magnetic stripe, while other purchases need to be authenticated if they are made with a fingerprint, iris scan or pin.

Currently only available with Visa and Mastercard cards from Santander, Nationwide and MBNA, Samsung has said there are more partners on the way including M&S bank, American Express, HSBC and first direct.

James Frost, CMO of Worldpay UK, commented: “A host of major technology providers are placing big bets on the potential for mobile devices to fuel widespread evolution of how consumers pay for goods and services. Already more than half of UK shoppers say they’d happily leave their wallet at home and pay for everything on their smartphone instead.

“While the total number of payments made using mobile devices remains a small fraction of total transactions in the UK, our latest data suggest the popularity of mobile ‘tap and pay’ is gaining momentum.

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“The number of mobile transactions, as a percentage, of all in-store transactions has grown by 247% in the UK over the last year. We expect the launch of Samsung Pay to accelerate this growth even further in the coming months.”



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