Samsung Pay is about to fill an embarrassing gap in its services in South Korea. Samsung has reportedly come to terms with Shinsegae, a major domestic retail chain that had been blocking use of the mPayment platform in its home country.
The deal isn’t yet finalized, with executives anticipating a completion by the end of next month; but for now sources from both companies have indicated to media that an agreement is on the way.
For Samsung, the lack of support was particularly glaring given Samsung Pay’s compatibility with not only NFC POS readers but traditional magnetic stripe payment terminals, which essentially meant the platform could be supported by virtually any merchant. Shinsegae, which is also licensed to operate Starbucks’ chain of stores in South Korea, had blocked the services use with the aim of encouraging its customers to use its own mPayment option, SSG Pay, in its stores—a situation similar to the rivalry between Apple Pay and Walmart in the US.
What’s very dissimilar, however, are the family ties between Samsung and Shinsegae’s executive leadership, and a domestic business culture that respects such ties above business interests. Seeking to avoid continuing conflict, both companies are now close to resolving their dispute, and customers of each may soon have access to the other’s mobile payment option in affiliated stores.