Samsung Pay launches in Thailand

By  for TechInAsia

Samsung Pay, the Korean mobile giant’s cashless payment service, has officially landed in Thailand, the company announced today. The service has been running in the country in an “early access” fashion for a limited number of users since October last year.

Samsung Pay works with MasterCard, Visa, KCC, Bangkok Bank, Citibank, KasikornBank, KTC, and Siam Commercial Bank. Samsung says that department stores and shops in the country will also accept payments through Samsung Pay.

Online chatter in Thailand during the early access phase suggested that users couldn’t find too many outlets to use the service. International chains like 7-Eleven were more likely to have the contactless payment terminals required for Samsung Pay to work.

Samsung has to go up against several alternative providers of cashless payments.

To accommodate Thailand’s low credit card usage (still under 10 percent), the service will also work with a prepaid card called Galaxy Gift, issued by MasterCard. Other membership cards can also be added.

Samsung Pay has a head start on competing services Apple Pay and Android Pay, none of which are available in Thailand yet. But much like its China launch last year, it enters a space that’s decidedly different than markets like Singapore or the US. The company still has the interesting challenge of going up against several alternative providers of cashless payments, who have stepped in to fill the credit card void.

For example, Line Pay, the messaging app’s payment function, is one of the most popular in the country, with 33 million users in 2015. Thailand is Line Pay’s second largest market after Japan.

Meanwhile, companies like 2C2P and Ant Financial-backed Ascend Money provide various payment options for people who don’t have access to credit cards or even bank accounts.

Besides Thailand, Samsung Pay is also available in South Korea, China, Singapore, and Australia in the Asia-Pacific region. Overall, the service operates in 10 countries worldwide.

First appeared at TIA