Just yesterday I covered Samsung Pay’s latest bold moves towards ubiquitous, 21st-century payments and here we are, once again, talking about a brand-new, Samsung Pay-related hot news.
Are we onto something?
Today Samsung is adding Sberbank to the long list of banks supported by Samsung Pay. Not only is Sberbank’s one of the biggest conglomerate of Russian banks - to give you a hint, 70% of Russians are customers. Also, it is the cherry on top of a big, Russian cherry cake, baked with the seven major Russian banks, such as Alfa Bank JSC, VTB 24 OJSC, MTS OJSC, Reiffeisen Bank JSC, Russian Standard Bank JSC and Yandex LLC.
On October 4, 2016, Apple launched in Russia with Mastercard and Sberbank. Less than fourty days later and Samsung proves to be able to keep up with Cupertino, signing deals with both Mastercard and Sberbank.
Worth mentioning is the comment of Arkadiy Graf, Head of Samsung Mobile Russia: “Since September 28, Samsung Pay has provided our Russian users with a simple and secure payment method that can be used almost anywhere they can swipe or tap their payment cards. We’re delighted to announce the availability of Samsung Pay for Sberbank customers. With this partnership, Samsung Pay now covers 65 percent of all private bank accounts in Russia and 80 percent of the country’s urban population.”
But if in the realms of parternships with Russian banks Apple and Samsung compete on equal footing, the latter is in a way better position for what concerns actually building a network of daily returning users of the product. According to PYMNTS InfoScout 2016, “after a high point in October 2015, repeat usage has settled into the 4 percent range of eligible users – people with the right phones (has Apple Pay) using it at the right merchants (has NFC). That means that 19 out of every 20 people who could use Apple Pay, don’t.” [bold is mine].
After all, the growth of a new payment solution follows dynamics similar to a new currency or, why not, a new cryptocurrency. It’s all about reliability: can I trust that my favourite online marketplace / kebab shop will accept this new payment solution, rather than staring at me as I were a martian? Shortly, can I trust this new payment solution? In this very regard Samsung’s been a trailblazer, pioneering MST for mobile payments as a parallel method to NFC, the (only) tech that enables the payment solutions of its rivals.