In the last quarter of 2016, demonetisation has increased the usage of online payment service and e Wallet system in India. The most popular online fund transfer app/website “Paytm” has taken the most advantage of this situation and has now over 147 million wallet users. With the growing number of users in online payment system, Samsung is planning to launch its own online payment system “Samsung Pay” soon in India. In the latest software update for the Galaxy Note 5, Samsung has provided this app as an inbuilt app for this specific phone and report says that Samsung has been testing this service in India from December 2016.
Samsung has already partnered with American Express to provide this service in India. Samsung is currently providing this payment service in South Korea, USA, Australia in partnership with American Express. On the other hand, Apple CEO Tim Cook, on his last visit to India has signed a nondisclosure agreement with Axis Bank to start “Apple Pay” system in India. Reports also say that “Android Pay” will also be available in India in late 2017. So let us give you an overview about Samsung Pay.
Samsung Pay is one of the most popular payment method in the US and globally (for the countries where Samsung Pay is available). In US, Samsung Pay currently supports over 650 Banks. As you are swiping the credit and debit cards on a swiping machine to make a payment, with Samsung Pay you have to show your phone near the Payment terminal to make a payment. This feature is also available in the Gear S2 and Gear S3 smartwatch. It is a NFC and MTS based payment system and with fingerprint, Samsung Knox security technology it is one of the most secure payment process. So in general Samsung Pay will create a digital copy of your payment card/gift card and you can use the card without physically having the card with you.
Though Samsung Pay is one of the smartest payment option still there will be a lot of challenges for this app in India. These are some of the challenges that we have analyzed.
1. Indian market is not ready to switch to Samsung Pay overnight.
The existing payment terminals do not support MTS or NFC based transaction. So Samsung can either manufacture their own payment terminals or can tender the project to some other payment terminal manufacturing company. But this process also requires the program to embed code related the app and to the Bank that is going to be a partner. So this process might take a long time. Also distribution of the payment terminals over the retailers in a huge country like India might not be that easy.
2. Compatibility of Banks and cards.
Samsung need to tie up with the Banks which are operating in India. Currently there are 12 types and 93 numbers of Banks are operating in India. This is not a small number to accomplish the target as Samsung is planning to launch the app early this year. Also Samsung Pay should be compatible with the payment cards (credit, debit, VISA cards etc.) and several other gift cards (domino’s, dunkin donuts etc.) which are the most popular cards in India.
3. Compatible devices.
Samsung Pay is strictly compatible with the flagship models and it includes the Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, S6 Edge plus, S7, S7 Edge and Note 5. Only these 6 phones have the hardware to run Samsung Pay app. Also due to the level of security, only Samsung India devices (phones which are specifically manufactured for Indian market not international version) might be able to provide this service. Samsung says currently 2.5 million of these phones are available in India which can run Samsung Pay app.
Paytm has over 147 million wallet accounts in India. This is a huge number as compared to the Samsung Pay compatible devices present in India. Paytm is a comparatively small and simple app with simple payment option but it has the massive network all over India. Also it does not require a specific payment terminal and the most important thing is the app is available for every smartphone present in India. So anyone can use Paytm easily. Paytm is not the only app, there are several other competitors out there who have a lot of users and this might impact the Samsung Pay service in India.
Samsung also have to train a decent number of support staffs within a short period of time to ensure that the issues with the app, payment and the related promotions should be resolved in less time. Also they have to train every single retail partner about the app and the functionality.
So there are a lot of challenges, but being a tech giant and being the number one smartphone selling company in India Samsung can get a good amount of satisfied users for this app.
Image source: Samsung Newsroom