Samsung Pay launched in Singapore today, following its Australia debut yesterday. In both cases, the mPayment platform arrived with Citibank support, and the companies say they are working together to further extend the service in the Asia Pacific region.
Announcing the collaborative efforts in a statement, Samsung EVP Injong Rhee said that the company is “seeing significant growth for Samsung Pay,” and that Citi’s support is “a key to that continued momentum.” Meanwhile, Citibank executive Sergio Zanatti framed the bank’s support as part of a larger effort in “digitization and innovation”; and indeed, the bank is proving to be a bit of a pioneer in introducing sophisticated technologies such as voice recognition for customers contacting its call centers.
While Citi’s support will certainly help to promote Samsung Pay in its new markets, its friendly rival Apple Pay may also be a boon. The platform launched in Singapore earlier this spring, and may have helped to stoke interest in mPayments more generally; that could pay off for Samsung Pay, which operates on a different hardware ecosystem than Apple Pay and is therefore not a direct competitor.
In any case, the time is now for Samsung to secure a foothold in the country, as its real rival, Android Pay, has yet to arrive.