eBay owned PayPal was curiously left out of the impressive lineup of banking heavyweights during the Apple Pay launch last week, but a new report claims that may be because the payment giant is putting all of its eggs in Samsung’s basket instead. Business Korea has word that Samsung plans to follow Apple down the smartwatch payment hole, and is said to be teaming up with one of the leading mobile payment services around to accomplish that goal.
According to an unnamed “high-ranking official” at Samsung, one of the manufacturer’s third-generation smartwatch devices will offer “simple payment functions” powered by PayPal, and protected by some form of “fingerprint identification technology.”
Ironically, PayPal – which publicly dissed Apple Pay only last week – isn’t even available in Samsung’s native country of South Korea. That’s not stopping this the smartwatch-based service, however, as it’s expected to debut in 25 other countries, eventually expanding to more than 50 around the globe.
Samsung is reportedly eyeing early 2015 for the launch of its payment-based smartwatch, presumably using the annual Mobile World Congress event as a springboard for doing so.
Perhaps not-so coincidentally, early next year is also the same time-frame Cupertino has already staked out for its own Apple Watch, which will be capable of making contact-less payments even when not connected to a compatible iPhone.
Biometric expert Synaptics will reportedly provide fingerprint verification technology for Samsung’s future smartwatch, part of the company’s Fast Identity Online Alliance which also includes PayPal, Bank of America, Visa and Google among its ranks.
Synaptics Chief Executive Officer Richard Bergman confirmed, “wearable devices with fingerprint verification and relevant solutions will be released early next year,” suggesting Samsung and Apple won’t be alone in duking it out for wearable payment domination.
Mobile World Congress