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Samsung Pay sets launch date for Singapore, its fifth country

TechCrunch TechCrunch 9/06/2016 Catherine Shu

After months of pre-announcements, Samsung Pay has finally cemented a launch date for Singapore, its first market in Southeast Asia. The mobile payment service will debut there on June 16 for people who have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Samsung Pay has rolled out in South Korea, the United States, China, and Spain so far. In Singapore, it will be available for Visa, MasterCard, and American Express card holders, as well as customers at banks including Citibank, DBS, POSB, OCBC, and Standard Chartered

Rivals Apple Pay and Android Pay are already available in Singapore, one of Asia’s most important financial and business hubs. As in most other markets, Samsung Pay’s main advantage is that it can be used at almost all existing payment terminals. Unlike Apple Pay and Android Pay, which only work at contactless terminals, Samsung Pay has a technology called magnetic secure transmission (MST) which mimics the magnetic strip on bank cards and can therefore be used almost anywhere that cards are accepted.

While Samsung Pay is currently only available for Samsung smartphone users, it has a local partner in Singapore that may also help expand its reach. In its announcement, Samsung said it “will be exploring potential collaborations in the mobile payment space” with Singtel, Singapore’s largest telecom. Singtel already has its own NFC-based mobile payment app called Dash for iOS and Android.

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