Samsung Pay is coming to Samsung smartwatches later this year. The South Korean technology giant is planning to launch a wearable device that can also make mobile payments, according to unnamed sources speaking to the Electronic Times.
The smartwatch -- codenamed Orbis -- will use near-field communication (NFC) technology to facilitate contactless payments. This is the same technology used by Apple Inc. for Apple Pay on its iPhone 6 and the Apple Watch and Google's Android Pay. Samsung Pay was first introduced by the company with the launch of the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge. But in addition to using NFC, the mobile payment system also uses magnetic secure transmission technology, which works with older credit card payment terminals that don’t have contactless credit card technology built in. Though Samsung uses both technologies in its latest smartphones, it’s unknown if it plans to do the same with its smartwatch as well.
Samsung’s smartwatch isn’t expected to launch until sometime in the second half of the year. It had previously said it would launch Samsung Pay in South Korea and the U.S. during the summer. But it changed its plans and pushed back the mobile payment system’s rollout to September, according to Bloomberg.
Samsung joins an increasingly crowded mobile payment market filled with several players including Apple Pay, Google’s Android pay and others. Traditional watchmakers are also joining the mobile payments game, with Swatch Group planning its own smartwatch that will support NFC and mobile payment apps that work with Windows and Android devices.
The smartwatch industry is expected to take off in 2015, growing to an $8.7 billion market globally, up from $1.3 billion last year, according to market research firm Smartwatch Group.