Samsung Pay follows Apple Pay to Australia, more than eight months after its competitor established its presence in the country, in November 2015.

Apple Pay is conducting business with customers who bank with American Express and Australian bank ANZ and Samsung Pay does one better than Apple Pay.

Customers with American Express and Citibank, as well as those with an American Express-issued card, a Citibank Visa or Mastercard can begin using Samsung Pay right away.

Samsung smartphones compatible with Samsung Pay are the Galaxy S7, Galaxy S7 edge, Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 edge, Galaxy S6 edge+ and Galaxy Note 5.

Samsung Pay in Australia

Samsung Pay hopes to appeal to more customers than Apple Pay with their policy of not charging fees and not retaining customer data.

The problem faced by Apple Pay is that most Australian banks have their own mobile payment options and prefer not to use Apple Pay, to avoid sharing a portion of the interchange fees.

*Interchange fees are fees paid by merchants to use a bank’s infrastructure.

Prasad Gokhale, vice president at Samsung Australia said, “We’re here to compliment the banks. We don’t charge any interconnect fees or ‘clip,’ as they call it, and we don’t retain data.”

“The core position of Samsung is, we want to get more and more Australians to join our ecosystem. I don’t think the banks or any other people look at us as competitors.”

This can prove to be advantageous to Samsung Pay.

Transforming Payments

Samsung says “We are working very hard to integrate other partners experiences and compliment. It will take a little bit more time.

Towards this end, Samsung Pay said the company wants to go beyond offering customers the ability to pay using their smartphones.

The company is working on replacing users’ wallets: bank cards, gift cards, loyalty cards, membership cards (gyms, coffee shops, frequent flyer cards), and even Opal cards and transit.

At the Samsung Pay launch event, the company explained that they are already integrating loyalty and gift cards (over 200 stores) with the platform.

Elle Kim, global vice president of Samsung Pay said they expected healthy numbers in Australia. She said, “Within the first six months of launching in the U.S. and Korea, we had 5 million customers with a $500 million spend.”

Australia is Samsung Pay’s fifth market launch after Korea, the U.S., China and Spain. Singapore launch is on June 16, followed by the UK, Canada and Brazil.

With Google launching Android Pay sometime in 2016, both Samsung Pay and Apple Pay have a lot on their hands.