Samsung Pay makes UK market debut

Holders of Target store-branded payment cards will now be able to make mobile payments in-store through the brand's app.

Samsung has boosted competition in the UK mobile payments market, with Samsung Pay finally arriving in the country this month, almost two years after the launch of Apple Pay and a year after Android Pay’s rollout.

Users of compatible Samsung smartphones in the UK can now upload their card details onto their device and make tap-and-go payments at contactless terminals all over the country.

Visa was quick to celebrate the introduction of Samsung Pay, pointing out that the service is available to Visa cardholders who bank with MBNA, Nationwide and Santander.

Kevin Jenkins, Visa’s regional managing director for the UK and Ireland, said: “[The] launch of Samsung Pay gives Visa account holders a mobile payment solution that enables safe and easy contactless in-store payments with their Samsung mobile. The phone is the one item people always have with them and Visa supports payment solutions that fit people’s changing lifestyles.”

Samsung Pay is a fairly late arrival in the UK mobile payments market but has been available for some time in countries such as South Korea, the US, China and Australia. Last month, the service expanded into Sweden and the United Arab Emirates and entered early access in Hong Kong and Switzerland.

It makes its debut on British shores at an exciting time for the mobile payments sector. According to the 2016 Digital Payment study from Visa, more than 94 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds in the UK are already using their mobile device to make payments or manage their money.

The research also revealed that more than four out of ten people in the UK use their phones to buy takeaway food (45 percent), pay bills (42 percent) or purchase bus or train tickets (41 percent).

Visa predicted that mobile payments will account for half of all worldwide transactions by 2020.


Image: iStock/shironosov

Written by Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal

Jack Dougal is's resident news reporter. He writes regular blogs covering the latest stories and key developments in the global financial services industry.

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