Samsung Pay goes nationwide in Thailand to cash in on cashless push

Samsung Pay
Wichai Pornpratang, Vice President of IT and Mobile Communications of Thai Samsung Electronics launches Samsung Pay nationwide in Thailand. Source: Samsung

Samsung has officially launched its Samsung Pay digital wallet in Thailand as it looks to cash in on the government’s national e-payment strategy to transition the country to a cashless society.

Samsung soft-launched Samsung Pay in Thailand last October, and customer response has been so good that Samsung decided to officially launch the digital wallet nationwide, said Wichai Pornpratang, Vice President of IT and Mobile Communications at Thai Samsung Electronics.

Since then, he continued, Samsung Pay has built up its partner base to support the payment platform, including MasterCard, Visa, KCC, Bangkok Bank, Citibank, KasikornBank, KTC and Siam Commercial Bank, as well as department stores and shops.

“Aside from compatible credit cards, the Galaxy Gift Prepaid Card by MasterCard, as well as a wide variety of distinguished membership cards, can be added to Samsung Pay for convenience upon checkout,” he added. “As a result, Samsung Pay services have won a warm welcome from consumers.”

That said, Samsung Pay is limited to consumers who own certain models of Samsung Galaxy smartphones, including Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge. It’s also limited to consumers who also own at least one credit card.

Thailand makes the tenth market where Samsung’s digital wallet has been launched since its unveiling last year. Other markets in Asia-Pacific supporting Samsung Pay include Korea, China and Singapore, as well as Australia.

“As we did in other markets, we have taken a customized approach with our launch in Thailand, working with key partners to make quick and secure mobile payments a reality,” said Thomas Ko, vice president of Samsung Pay.

With the digital wallet space becoming increasingly crowded, Samsung’s key differentiator is that it supports both NFC and MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission) technology, which is the most common technology for accepting contactless payments and the most widely-used credit card payment technology in Thailand.

That means any business that accepts credit card payments can also accept Samsung Pay, although Samsung admits some card reader terminals will require software upgrades.

Users must register for the service, after which they can add up to ten payment cards to their Samsung Pay account and get the usual privileges and benefits their cards offer without having to carry them around.

When it’s time to pay, they simply choose a payment card from their smartphone, use their fingerprint to validate their identity and tap their device on a payment terminal.

Aside from the biometric ID, Samsung Pay also generates digital identifiers or “tokens” to protect users’ credit-card data.

Wichai Pornpratang said Samsung aims to play “a big role in transforming Thailand in line with its national e-payment strategy” and “usher [Thais] towards a cashless society.”

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