Samsung Wallet, an Android wallet app that largely resembles Apple's Passbook, is now available on the Google Play marketplace for Android smartphone apps.
The Samsung Wallet app was previously available on Samsung Apps, the hardware maker's own app store, where it has a three-star rating out of five stars.
Like Passbook, Samsung Wallet acts as a hub for other mobile payment and ticketing apps. To access an app from Samsung Wallet, users must first tap the "Load to Samsung Wallet" button within that app.
The Google Play version of the app has the same features as the Samsung Apps version, and is limited to U.S. residents, according to the tech news blog Sammy Hub. A South Korean version of Samsung Wallet was released in May with some significant differences from the U.S. version. Most notably, the wallet allows users to register payment cards, including the Samsung Card, according to a translated version of a Samsung press release. Samsung Card is the South Korean-based financial services subsidiary of Samsung Group and a sister company to Samsung Electronics.
Samsung's phones are equipped to handle many different payment technologies. The Galaxy S4, its flagship phone, has a Near Field Communication chip, a technology used by several mobile wallet providers. The Galaxy S4 can also emit pulses of light that can be read by standard bar-code scanners at the point of sale.