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Samsung Draws on Oberthur to Make a European Push

May 19, 2015         By: Steven Anderson

While Samsung Pay has caught a lot of attention lately, the idea of it expanding outward beyond North American and Asia has had quite a bit less attention.

That’s a point that’s about to change, meanwhile, with a new report that says Samsung is now working with Oberthur Technologies to back its move into the European market later on this year.

Reports suggest that Samsung is looking to Oberthur for its Pearl secure element technology, which was already spotted in both the Samsung S6 and the S6 Edge smartphones.

Oberthur will be offering up the end-to-end connection from the eSE (embedded secure element) all the way to the digital payment platform, and will give banks the option to offer near-field communications payments.

Best of all, thanks to Oberthur, Samsung will be able to offer a complete setup for the banks, allowing for not only enrollment, but also lifecycle processes and beyond.

That means payment cards can be added quickly and easily to the Samsung Pay system, since Samsung and Oberthur will be handling most of the heavy lifting. Users, meanwhile, will have it even easier; enrollment is as simple as taking a picture of the desired payment card followed by a quick acceptance of terms and conditions. Those two steps accomplished, users will be able to start using the service as normal once the bank has done the necessary authentication.

Samsung has plans to expand elsewhere, of course, including into China, where it’s reportedly looking to turn to NXP’s SmartMX P61N1M3 secure element in what looks like a similar fashion.

This is good news for Samsung, of course, because it will need all the force it can get behind it to make a proper entrance into the market. The fact that mobile payments is a hotly-contested market isn’t questioned, but how to get into that market is.

Samsung’s plan, which appears to be “get in everywhere you can go go go right now!” might be the best way to go about it. Samsung has one critical edge over the rest in that it works with currently-established infrastructure, so just about anywhere that can take a debit card can handle Samsung Pay, no “agreements” required.

But Samsung still has a little under a year of Apple Pay entrenchment to work around, plus the always-present Apple Fan who buys just about anything from Apple because it’s Apple.

Still, this is a good sign for Samsung, and we may have a real two-horse race on our hands as Samsung Pay starts rolling out in earnest. That’s a race a lot of folks out there are looking forward to watching.