Samsung has begun piloting its mobile payment system in South Korea, the first step in a gradual rollout of a system that's designed to play nice with retailers' older point of sale systems.
The trial includes a limited group of consumers who can use the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to make contactless payments. Samsung plans a wider launch this year in South Korea and the U.S. before moving into other markets.
That allows Samsung Pay to work on systems that do not support Near Field Communication (NFC), which is required for Apple Pay, making Samsung immediately usable at about 90% of all retail locations in the U.S., and more stores than any other mobile payment venture in South Korea, according to Samsung.
The technology can coexist with the NFC that's already built into Samsung's later phone models, providing an alternative contactless payment method at NFC-upgraded merchants.
Samsung has also discontinued its Samsung Walleta counter to Apple's Passbookin preparation for the launch of Samsung Pay.