Samsung Pay and Other Highlights from Mobile World Congress

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6 April 2015

The Race for Mobile Payments Is Heating Up


2015 started with a bang in mobile payments, as Samsung, Google, PayPal, and others made important announcements. Mobile World Congress not only served as a platform for many of these announcements but also delivered the right mix of vision, serious thinking about the challenges ahead, and an undiminished excitement about the opportunities.

Samsung used Mobile World Congress (MWC) as a platform to launch its new Galaxy S6 devices and to announce Samsung Pay, which leverages the technology from its recent acquisition of LoopPay. There were other important announcements in mobile payments around the same time, particularly from Google about Google Wallet and Android Pay, from PayPal about its acquisition of Paydiant, and from Visa and MasterCard about the strong interest from the banks in deploying Host Card Emulation (HCE)-based payment solutions.

The report Samsung Pay and Other Highlights from Mobile World Congress: The Race for Mobile Payments Is Heating Up offers Celent’s take on what Samsung Pay is, as well as commentary on the latest developments and implications for mobile payments. It also summarises some of the other highlights and themes from MWC.

“It is tempting to compare Samsung Pay with Apple Pay. Both are device-based wallets, and even the names sound similar,” says Zilvinas Bareisis, a senior analyst with Celent’s Banking practice and author of the report. “However, a much more relevant comparison is between Samsung Pay and other payment solutions available on Android, especially Google Wallet and the emerging HCE-based wallets from banks. These latest announcements demonstrate that the mobile payments ecosystem is far from settled.”

This 24-page report contains eight figures. It concludes with a summary of some of the other highlights and themes from MWC, such as connected living, wearables, 5G networks, privacy and data protection, crowdfunding, and cybersecurity.