Lately Australian-based payments provider Cuscal has struck a deal with Samsung to help link 38 financial institutions with Samsung Pay.
Banks such as Credit Union Australia, Teachers Mutual Bank, People’s Choice Credit Union and Bank Australia can now urge customers with the proper Samsung Galaxy devices to add a Visa credit or debit card to Samsung Pay. This announcement was made by Cuscal at the one-year anniversary of Samsung Pay in Australia. The Galaxy S8 is among the Samsung phones customers of Westpac, Citibank and American Express and, now, 38 customer-owned banks can use for contactless payments in Australia. In this deal with Samsung it will turn on Samsung Pay for 1.7 million cardholders at 38 credit unions and other customer-owned banks, after Westpac Banking Corp joined the tech behemoth’s digital wallet few months back.
Cuscal’s 38 financial institutions now available on Samsung Pay are: Australian Unity, Bank Australia, Bank of Sydney, Beyond Bank Australia, Big Sky Building Society, Catalyst Money, Central Coast Credit Union, Central Murray Credit Union, Community First Credit Union, Credit Union SA, CUA, Customs Bank, Defence Bank, Firefighters Mutual Bank, First Option Credit Union, Holiday Coast Credit Union, Horizon Credit Union, Illawarra Credit Union, Intech Bank, MyState, Nexus Mutual, Northern Beaches Credit Union, P&N Bank, People’s Choice Credit Union, Police Bank, QT Mutual Bank, Queenslanders Credit Union, Reliance Bank, SCU, Select ENCOMPASS Credit Union, South West Slopes Credit Union, Teachers Mutual Bank, The Mac, The Rock, UniBank, Unity Bank, WAW Credit Union Co-Operative, Woolworths Employees’ Credit Union Limited.
According to Mark Hodgson, head of mobile payments at Samsung Australia, there was strong demand from users of Samsung smartphones to download the company’s digital wallet and pay with it. There had been more than 240 million transactions processed in the past 18 months globally.
Citibank and American Express have also turned on the Samsung Pay service in Australia, where it launched a year ago while other banks are still in talks as ANZ Banking Group, Commonwealth Bank of Australia and National Australia Bank, the three big banks are in discussions with the South Korean giant, which hopes they will be on board by the end of the year. Samsung Pay has more than 870 bank partnerships around the world.
Samsung’s approach to digital wallets differs fundamentally to its American competitor, Apple, in that Samsung does not require banks to pay it any fee and also allows them to access the phone’s near-field communications (NFC) antenna, which Apple has blocked.
This allows banks’ own proprietary digital wallets to make contactless payments with Samsung phones, whereas on iPhones, only Apple Pay can access the tap and go terminal.
So the proprietary digital wallets of each of the big four banks and some customer-owned banks can already be used for “tap and go” to make payments with Samsung phones but also note that using Samsung’s own digital wallet is likely to deliver a much smoother functionality and customer experience than banks’ versions in a broader, connected ecosystem.
Samsung wants its digital wallet, which also stores loyalty cards of which Samsung Pay has more than 100 in Australia, to help drive smartphone and smartwatch sales.
Samsung Pay is also expected to play a role in the internet of things, where the company’s televisions and fridges and other household products will be connected to the internet and will be likely to incorporate payments alongside future innovations.
Earlier Cuscal had announced a deal with Apple in November 2016 that allowed 31 of its customer-owned banking clients to provide contactless payments through iPhones at that time. Of the big four banks, only ANZ has done a deal with Apple. According to Richard Fink the vice president of Samsung Australia’s mobile division every partner that will on onboard, whether it be a financial institution or retail brand through Samsung Pay loyalty functionality, brings a step closer to helping customers replace their wallets with their Samsung smartphone or smartwatch.