Smartphone leader Samsung Electronics has for years been a spectator as Apple built a services “ecosystem” supporting its products. But now, as the two develop the market for mobile payments, the Korean tech giant is taking the fight to its U.S. archrival.
For Apple, offering users the ability to tap their iPhones on sales terminals to buy a coffee, snack or train ticket is a fresh revenue stream, like its iTunes music and entertainment service. The banks it works with cough up a small charge for each transaction – reportedly 0.15 percent in the United States.
Samsung, which has trailed behind its competitors in software and services, is taking a different path.
It is not seeking fees from its financial partners, viewing Samsung Pay as an engine to drive sales of phones and other devices.
“We’re a hardware company, and at the end of the day I think what we’re trying to do is get people who hold (one of) our phones and use it … to just love it more,” Elle Kim, Global Vice President of Samsung Pay, told Reuters in Sydney.