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Samsung Pay launches in Australia to take on “tap-and-go” credit cards

TechCrunch TechCrunch 14/06/2016 Catherine Shu

Samsung Pay has expanded its reach in the Asia-Pacific region with yet another country launch. This time it is Australia, where Samsung smartphone owners can now use the service. Its launch Down Under–where tap-and-go credit cards are already popular–comes the day before Samsung Pay is set to debut in Singapore.

The service is already available in South Korea, the United States, China, and Spain.

In a press release, Samsung Pay global vice president Elle Kim said, “In the first six months of launching in Korea and in the U.S., Samsung Pay has surpassed more than five million registered users and today has processed more than $1 billion of transactions in South Korea alone. This success indicates a tremendous opportunity in Australia, a market where contactless payments are already in strong demand.”

According to a May 2015 survey by research company RF Intelligence Group, 53 percent of Australians have made a transaction with a contactless payment method. Mobile payment providers are eager to tap into the market, where Apple Pay, Android Pay, and Square are already available. For Square, its Australian launch in March 2016  marked the company’s first new country in three years.

Just because contactless payments are already popular in Australia, however, does not mean mobile payment apps will have an easy time. Many consumers are already accustomed to making contactless payments with tap-and-go credit cards like Visa PayWave and MasterCard PayPass, so Samsung Pay and its competitors may have a hard time convincing new users to sign on.

In Australia, Samsung Pay will be available first to customers of American Express and Citibank. As in other markets, the service is compatible with smartphones in the Galaxy S6 and S7 series.

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