Samsung Pay is planning to enable online payments this year, and will also bring the mPayment service to more lower-end Samsung devices.
The moves appear to be aimed at expanding the breadth of the service’s reach. And that’s already considerable: Samsung Pay’s MST technology allows the mPayment platform to work with traditional swipe-based card readers in addition to the newer NFC readers required by Apple Pay, its main rival. But the service has so far only been available on a small handful of Samsung smartphones; so by bringing it to more devices, and perhaps especially by bringing it to web purchases, Samsung could dramatically extend the reach of its brand.
Of course, moving so overtly into the eCommerce space will also put Samsung Pay into more direct competition with PayPal, which is currently the most prominent operator in that area, and has ambitious plans to increase its presence in digital payments more broadly. Indeed, PayPal has appeared to be angling to get into mPayments itself, so this kind of head-on competition may have been inevitable for Samsung.
In any case, the increased competition should ultimately be good news for the consumer, who will see an increasing number of digital payment options in the year ahead.