Samsung Pay adds support for Russia’s largest bank, ‘early access’ in Canada
Before launching in markets like the UK, Thailand or Taiwan, Samsung’s NFC and MST-based mobile payment service for select Galaxy smartphones has a few loose ends to tie up in countries already supporting it.
As always, the aim is to one-up or at least catch up with Apple Pay, theoretically covering 65 percent of all private bank accounts in Russia and 80 percent of the country’s urban population now that Sberbank jumps on the Samsung Pay expansion bandwagon.
By far the largest, richest financial institution in the world’s largest country by area, this has backed Cupertino’s digital wallet solution from day one, though Apple Pay is yet to spread the regional love to smaller banks.
Samsung Pay, meanwhile, has Alfa Bank JSC, VTB 24 OJSC, MTS OJSC, Raiffeisen Bank JSC, Russian Standard Bank JSC and Yandex LLC in its corner alongside Sberbank OJSC.
As for Canada, where Apple Pay debuted almost a year ago, it looks like the rumors were true, with “early access” to Samsung Pay presented to “valued” CIBC customers using select credit cards issued by the smallest of the nation’s “Big Five” banks.
CIBC MasterCard, US dollar VISA and Prepaid VISA cards aren’t eligible for the time being, and you’ll need to sign up on Samsung’s regional website to basically participate in public beta tests. Baby steps, right?