Samsung Pay US Beta Underway

Samsung Pay US Beta UnderwayA beta version of Samsung Pay is taking shape in the US, in anticipation of the mPayment system’s stateside launch on September 28th.

There are some restriction on who can participate in the beta test. Applicants must own one of Samsung’s newest mobile devices – a Samsung Note 5, Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, or the newly-launched S6 Edge+. Potential users must also be registered with Sprint, T-Mobile, AT&T, or US Cellular; Verizon, America’s biggest cellular carrier, isn’t yet on board. Applicants also need to have a Visa or debit card from US Bank, or a MasterCard, Visa, or debit card from Bank of America. Even then, admission to the beta isn’t a guarantee.

The strict guidelines may be a signal of the meticulousness with which Samsung is controlling the rollout of its mPayment platform. But they may also be cause for concern, betraying the limited compatibility of the mPayment system as it stands now, given the lack of participating financial institutions and telecom providers. The Verizon omission is particularly worrisome; The Verge notes that the company is currently “evaluating” Samsung Pay, and that it “could very well miss the September 28th launch.”

Apple Pay, meanwhile, currently dominates the mPayment landscape, with a number of financial institutions and a growing rosters of merchants onboard. Still, analysts have questioned just how pervasive the service really has become over its first year in existence, and Samsung Pay has a special advantage in not requiring merchants to have NFC technology at their POS terminals in order for the system to function, which could give it a leg up as it competes for marketshare after its debut.

Source: The Verge