Samsung took a “sabbatical” from the aggressive smartwatch push so as to rethink what it offers customers and stand out from a market that is growing at an explosive rate. Codenamed Orbis internally, the next generation Samsung smartwatch is expected to have a Digital Crown-like knob which may as well be a rotating bezel. While that is what has leaked so far, a new report from Reuters citing Korean sources brings to light a new revelation: the watch may support mobile payments.
The watch will reportedly have NFC functionality which is what it will use to support mobile payments via Samsung Pay. Samsung Pay is the Korean company’s mobile payments service which was officially unveiled early in the year in Barcelona and is supported on Samsung’s latest flagship smartphones, the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. It is expected to be available later in the year (September) in the United States and Korea with unnamed “select partners” getting it as soon as next month (July). Other markets in line to get Samsung Pay after it is made public include China, Australia, Europe and South America.
The Apple Watch launched with support for Apple’s own mobile payments service, Apple Pay, using NFC.
Samsung Pay is expected to counter Apple Pay and will likely face competition not just from Apple’s product but also Android Pay which Google is pushing as not just another mobile payments service but a platform where both developers and users have choice and control over how they interact with it.