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Samsung Pay coming to Australia in 2016

The Korean smartphone titan is preparing to launch its mobile payment service into some select countries later in 2015, with Australia to follow sometime next year.

Sarah Tew / CBS Interactive

Samsung has announced that Samsung Pay, its mobile payment system, is about to roll out, but Australians might not want to hold their breath.

Samsung Pay will begin operation in Korea on August 20 and in the US on September 28 but there's no firm date for Australia except "in 2016."

The South Korean smartphone maker first unveiled Samsung Pay in March. The idea is for users to pay for items by waving their smartphone near a store's checkout register instead of swiping a credit card.

That announcement came alongside the unveiling of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, which will be the first phones to use the feature. Overnight on Thursday, Samsung announced its latest mobile devices: the Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge+.

A statement from Samsung Australia this morning said that the company was "working with local financial institutions to customise Samsung Pay with an anticipated launch in 2016."

While Samsung is just the latest major technology player to jump into mobile payments, Australia has lagged behind the rest of the world, with payment systems being made available directly through a banking provider, such as the Commonwealth Bank's mobile 'tap and go' feature.

Samsung believes it has an advantage with its system, which it obtained through the purchase of LoopPay earlier this year, because it will allow its devices like the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge to work with many more merchants and stores. Samsung Pay will use a near-field communication, or NFC, chip to talk with compatible registers. But it also uses a LoopPay technology called Magnetic Secure Transmission that works by holding the phone near a traditional card swipe reader, essentially making it backward compatible for nearly all payment terminals.

In the US, Samsung has announced partnerships with major credits cards, banks and store-branded credit cards, including American Express, Visa, Mastercard, Bank of America, Chase and US Bank.

It is unknown what financial institutions Samsung in talks with locally.