Samsung Pay is one of the only payment portals supporting MST (Magnetic Secure Transmission). It has allowed the service to gain traction in many markets that do not have NFC-enabled point-of-sale terminals.
It also adds an extra layer of security by not transmitting any actual credit/debit card information wirelessly. Despite that, Samsung Pay has nothing on one of its competitors in what can be considered one of the most important markets in the world, the United States.
Samsung is to blame for Samsung Pay’s failure in the United States
A new report by Pulse Network shows that a mere 5% of consumers in the United States use Samsung Pay. Google Pay is worse off, at 3%. In contrast, a whopping 92% of the transactions were exclusive to Apple Pay. We can boil this glaring discrepancy to a range of factors, including ease of access, market share, and the raw number of smartphones sold.
In Q2, 2021, Apple has little over 53% of the total smartphone market share in the United States. Samsung came in second at 26%. Unfortunately, Google’s Pixel-branded smartphones didn’t even make the cut. If we look at these numbers a-la-carte, Samsung Pay should have performed better, but it didn’t. There are several reasons why it is the case.
For starters, just about every major (and minor) retailer in the United States accepts Apple Pay. Additionally, Apple’s tight-knit collaboration with retailers incentivizes people to use the service through rewards and perks. In the end, it mostly boils down to Apple’s excellent marketing prowess.
Samsung Pay’s feature disparity across its line of smartphones doesn’t help, either. For reasons unknown, the entire Galaxy S21 series in the United States ship without MST support. Wearable support is somewhat sketchy as well, whereas all Apple Watch models seamlessly support Apple Pay.
While Samsung Pay may be marginally more successful in other regions, Samsung has nobody but itself to blame in the United States. The non-existent marketing, combined with the feature disparities and wearable support (or the lack of thereof) is why the service will continue to be overshadowed by Apple’s objectively better offering.