Allora, Samsung Pay has arrived in Italy – officially, at least.
In a statement announcing the launch, Samsung did not mention any local partners supporting its biometrically secured mobile payments platform. Samsung Pay is, by default, compatible all over the place, since its MST technology allows it to operate as a contactless payment card even with POS terminals that only support swipe-based card transactions. But first the service needs financial institutions to allow their payment cards to be uploaded to the Samsung Pay virtual wallet, and Samsung hasn’t announced any banking partners in Italy.
That means this could be another Mexico situation. Samsung announced the platform’s availability in that country last November, but since it didn’t have any banking partners there, consumers couldn’t actually use it. It wasn’t until the end of January of this year that Samsung came through with the announcement of official support in Mexico, meaning that at last the service really was live. So it stands to reason that Italy will follow a similar pattern from here.
Why announce the service’s launch before it’s actually ready? Possibly Samsung is trying to build anticipation among users, priming them for the real launch to come. It could also be a way of pressuring potential partners to reach out to Samsung, lest they get left behind by the competition.
In any case, Samsung Pay is now nominally available in Italy.