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HolidayBuyer's Guide
Mobile

Samsung Pay now works with loyalty cards in the US

You can load all your membership cards right into the mobile-payment service on your Galaxy phone.

Got a ton of pesky loyalty cards you can never find when you need them? Samsung's got you covered.

You can now add your merchant membership and loyalty cards to the Samsung Pay mobile-payments service, allowing you to receive promotions, rewards and other offers right from your Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

The average American household carries almost 30 loyalty cards, which can add quite a bit of heft to a wallet, Samsung said.

Samsung unveiled the new Samsung Pay capability during its developer conference last month in San Francisco. At that time, it also said the service would let you withdraw cash from an ATM, no debit card needed. And it added support for transit systems and online payments, letting you pay for your subway ride on the go and shop in apps without leaving the screen. All those features were initially available only in South Korea. Loyalty and membership card support is the first to make its way to the US.

South Korea-based Samsung launched Samsung Pay a year ago to let users pay for goods and services by waving their smartphone near the register instead of swiping a credit card. The service followed similar efforts by Apple, Google and other companies. Mobile payments had languished for years with trials and limited deployments before Apple injected energy and raised consumer awareness with its Apple Pay feature. For the likes of Apple and Samsung, the hope is that the addition of yet another feature will further build customer loyalty at a time when competition for smartphone customers is fierce.


This story also appears in Spanish. Read: Samsung Pay ahora funciona con tarjetas de fidelidad en EE.UU.