Samsung Pay expands to Smart TVs in bid to move beyond mobile
The company is outfitting its new Smart TVs with its payments system as a way to expand its use beyond just mobile devices.
Lance WhitneyContributing Writer
Lance Whitney is a freelance technology writer and trainer and a former IT professional. He's written for Time, CNET, PCMag, and several other publications. He's the author of two tech books--one on Windows and another on LinkedIn.
Samsung will try to entice Smart TV buyers to pay for items using its Samsung Pay payments system.
Dubbed Samsung Pay on TV, the payment service will allow Samsung Smart TV owners to pay for items using a TV-engineered version of Samsung Pay. Like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay lets you associate a credit or debit card with the payments service. If you see an app, a game or other item you want to buy, you can just select it, press the "Pay Now" button, enter your security PIN, and the transaction is a done deal.
Currently, Samsung Pay is undergoing testing in the company's homebase of Korea but is set to officially roll out this month for the Samsung Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge as well as new Samsung devices. But Samsung Pay faces obvious competition. Apple Pay has already been available for iPhone 6 and Apple Watch owners as a way to make mobile payments on the go. Google is ramping up its Android Pay service, which would support more devices than just Samsung phones. But Samsung is the world's top smartphone maker, so it already has a huge audience. And expanding the Samsung Pay to Smart TVs could be a smart play as the company said last week that it expects demand for ultra high-definition and large-screen TVs to increase in the second half of 2015.
Samsung Pay on TV was designed from scratch specifically for Smart TVs, the company said. The service supports not just debit and credit cards but also PayPay and other mobile billing options. After first completing the initial registration, users can then quickly pay for a game or an in-app purchase. Those who use Samsung Pay on their mobile phones will also be able to transfer their account information and payment methods to their Smart TVs without requiring any further registration steps.
Several initial game titles will support Samsung Pay for in-app purchases. Those include Gamefly Streaming, Buddy & Me, Deer Hunter, Eternal Warrior 3, Frontline Commando: DDAY, Golf Star and Casino World Championship.
What about security? Samsung said it has teamed up with PayPal to offer a quick but also secure payment process so your financial information is protected. The process will also incorporate Samsung's Secure Keyboard, which the company touts as the first secure virtual keyboard on a TV to keep your credit and debit card and PayPal password safe.
Samsung Pay for TVs will initially be offered in 32 countries on select 2015 Samsung Smart TVs and 2014 Smart TVs, the company said. Availability, supported payment methods and other capabilities may vary based on country and TV model, Samsung added.