Samsung Pay now lets you withdraw cash at the ATM -- if you live in Korea

The mobile-payments service will also launch in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Spain and the UK this year.

Shara Tibken Former managing editor
Shara Tibken was a managing editor at CNET News, overseeing a team covering tech policy, EU tech, mobile and the digital divide. She previously covered mobile as a senior reporter at CNET and also wrote for Dow Jones Newswires and The Wall Street Journal. Shara is a native Midwesterner who still prefers "pop" over "soda."
Shara Tibken
2 min read

Ever forget your debit card but need cash from the ATM? Samsung's got you covered. If you live in South Korea, that is.

Residents of the country will now be able to use Samsung Pay on a Galaxy phone to withdraw cash from an ATM, no debit card needed. For now, that works only with Woori Bank in Korea. Samsung said it hasn't yet announced the feature for other markets.

Samsung also added support in South Korea for gift cards and for membership cards, letting users redeem points for rewards and benefits. Samsung Pay can be used for transit there too, paying on the go, and it supports online payments, letting people shop in apps without leaving the screen. The company said in a statement that it has "no specific announcements" on when these features will arrive in the US.

Nathalie Oestmann, one of the Samsung executives in charge of Samsung Pay, said at the company's developer conference Wednesday that Samsung will be expanding its mobile-payments service to Australia, Brazil, Canada, Singapore, Spain and the UK this year. In addition to South Korea, the service is currently available in the US and China.

South Korea-based Samsung unveiled 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 announcement came alongside the unveiling of the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge, the first phones to use the feature.

Samsung was just the latest major technology player to jump into mobile payments, a market that 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.

Samsung this week is hosting a developer conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, the same place where Apple will hold its developer confab in June.

Samsung has had difficulty generating enthusiasm for many of its software products. The company leans on Google's Android software to run the vast majority of its smartphones and tablets, while its own Tizen operating system has struggled to gain a foothold. Meanwhile, Samsung has scrapped many of the services it's created, like the Samsung Media Hub and Milk Video.

Correction, 11 a.m. PT: For now, ATM withdrawals are available only in Korea.
Update, 12 p.m. PT: Adds statement from Samsung on availability of features in the US.