Samsung Pay has finally beaten Apple Pay to a major market, with the service having now launched in Spain.
It’s the first European market to support the mPayment platform, and represents a considerable business opportunity. As Samsung Spain VP Celestino García explained in a statement announcing the launch, Spain features a “high smartphone penetration rate” and a quickly digitalizing financial services sector. García added that recent market research commissioned by the company found that almost six in 10 adults in the country are interested in mPayments.
The service launches with CaixaBank and imaginBank support, and Samsung says that Abanca and Banco Sabadell support is in the pipeline. The company also says it’s working with major brands including Cepsa, Domino’s Pizza, and Starbucks to offer “value-added services” via Samsung Pay, and it has worked with the Madrid Chamber of Commerce and Industry to organize an event aimed at introducing the service to small- and medium-sized businesses.
That should all help to spur Apple as it works to extend the reach of Apple Pay in Europe and beyond. The mPayment platforms are not in direct competition, but there is a sense of rivalry between them, with Apple Pay usually being the first to reach a major new market. Not this time.