Samsung is planning to expand its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, into the US online shopping market. Additionally, Samsung will allow more smartphones to support the payment wallet, offering it to cheaper Samsung devices “within the next year,” according to Samsung Pay global co-general manager Thomas Ko.
Samsung Pay has grown much faster than rival Apple Pay and Android Pay since the service was implemented on payment technology that is already available in most stores. Thus, by expanding into the online market, Samsung will have yet another advantage over these two competitors, as well as coming into competition with popular online payment service PayPal.
Samsung’s electronic wallet will also pose fiercer competition to Bitcoin, whose main user base is found in the online shopping industry. However, it is unclear if Samsung Pay will actually win over any Bitcoiners who use the digital currency as their main online shopping payment method. Bitcoin offers several advantages over Samsung Pay in terms of online shopping. Bitcoin does not require any personal information, which makes it safer than using credit-card based online payment options. The digital currency also does not have any service fees associated with its use, unlike credit card payment methods, which makes using bitcoin cheaper than its more mainstream competition. Additionally, Bitcoin is global; anyone can use Bitcoin anywhere in the world, whereas Samsung Pay and similar services are only available to smartphone owners in certain areas of the globe. These restrictions tied to payment methods like Samsung Pay leave out the large majority of the world’s population, who either lack access to banking services, or do not live within the companies’ service areas.
Both Samsung Pay and Bitcoin have a common difficulty in trying to get people to use their services, however. Samsung has had a hard time convincing people that using its mobile wallet in place of a normal credit card would be more convenient, with many people believing that using a card is a simpler procedure. Similarly, Bitcoin has a hard time drawing in mainstream users due to its perceived learning curve. Most people do not understand the concept of digital money, and prefer traditional currencies that have been in use for many decades. Thus, although both payment methods are in competition with each other, they both must find a solution to getting new users on board.
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Images courtesy of Samsung