This week the Korean tech giant announced it will launch its Samsung Pay mobile payments service in China via a deal with e-commerce giant Alibaba’s financial unit.
In the deal, Samsung Pay will integrate with Alibaba subsidiary Ant Financial Services Group’s Alipay service, which currently has around 450 million users, according to Reuters.
The service will allow Samsung owners to pay with provisioned cards or a pre-registered Alipay account. This method is said to be superior to Alipay’s implementation already in use, which requires users open an app before they can complete a transaction.
The deal with Alibaba is seen as a way for Samsung to enter China’s huge payments sector, which is being boosted by a growing customer base. The Korean firm has already seen its share of the Chinese smartphone market decrease thanks to Apple in the premium segment and local budget manufacturers in the cheaper end of the market.
Alibaba also wins from the deal. The Alipay network processes a majority of online payments today but it’s mobile efforts have not yet had the same kind of success. The company has been trying to broker deals with major smartphone companies and was already said to be talking to Apple since 2014.
Samsung Pay launched in the US last September. Like Apple Pay, Samsung’s system uses NFC communication, but uses separate wireless technology to reproduce card swipes. It is also protected by fingerprint authentication.
Larry Banks is a keen follower of technology and finance. He has worked for a variety of online publications, writing about a diverse range of topics including mobile networks, patents, and Internet video delivery technologies.