Mobile - Frank M. Rafik

Samsung Pay May Be Coming to a Feature Phone Near You

June 16, 2017         By: Steven Anderson

One of the biggest problems Samsung Pay faced—and still faces, really—is the inherent limitation set on its capability by the available devices that can actually use it. Normally, Samsung Pay was limited to the upper range of Samsung devices, but there’s a sign that’s changing with two new devices that will accept Samsung Pay, and more potentially to follow.

The new devices in question, the J7 Max and the J7 Pro, are both set to release in India, part of an ongoing effort to bring the service to more devices. Samsung Pay only hit India in March, so it’s clear that Samsung isn’t wasting any time in getting the platform out for more devices, and by extension, more users.

Granted, only the J7 Pro will get the full version of Samsung Pay—the J7 Max will get a new offshoot known as “Samsung Pay Mini” to use—but it’s clear the expansion is in full swing. Samsung Pay Mini is a more abbreviated version of Samsung Pay, targeting the “mid-segment consumer” market.

Asim Warsi, Samsung India’s senior vice president of mobile business, noted “Since its launch in India, there has been tremendous response to Samsung Pay and we remain committed to taking it to maximum number of consumers. Over the next few weeks, we plan to extend Samsung Mini as an update to some existing users of devices like J7 Prime.”

It’s a good idea, and one that really should have been looked into well before now. Certainly, in the early going, Samsung needed a system out in the field and thus looked to its most powerful hardware to get the job done. Now, that need is passing, and the limited release vector is only going to hurt Samsung.

The more people that can use Samsung Pay, the more that will by definition—even if only a constant three percent uses Samsung Pay, going from 30,000 available users to 300,000 available will increase the overall count—and that only means value for Samsung. Samsung is making an excellent move here, but it needs to keep up the pace. Democratizing Samsung Pay is a great way to get out in front of the field, and keep a steady source of cash flow coming in going forward.