Samsung wants to replace your wallet with a watch

  • AFP
  • Updated: Sep 23, 2014 10:59 IST

Samsung is planning yet another smartwatch to sit alongside the six it has already launched over the past 12 months. However, while its past efforts have been focused on fitness or replacing reliance on smartphones, this one wants to be a replacement for consumers' wallets.

According to Business Korea, Samsung is working with PayPal on a simple mobile payment function that will be integrated into its next smartwatch.

A high-ranking, though unnamed Samsung official told the publication: "We are currently developing the smartwatch equipped with fingerprint identification technology and relevant solutions through cooperation with PayPal, the world's most renowned financial transaction service company, as well as Synaptics, a global company specialized in biometric verification."

The idea behind the watch is that a simple fingerprint scan will be sufficient to validate a payment, potentially online as well as at physical point of sales terminals and, because the watch is also a wallet, Samsung wants to push notifications to the screen concerning special offers and other geographically relevant promotions.

Though semi-officially announced now, Samsung is aiming to release the watch and its supporting payment system at the Mobile World Congress in March 2015, by which time Apple's own mobile payments service, Apple Pay will also have gone live in the US.

Samsung's most recent smartwatch, the Gear S, was unveiled at IFA 2014 in Berlin at the start of September and has its own 3G mobile internet connection, meaning that it can be used for making voice calls and for surfing the net, without connecting via a tethered smartphone.

The Gear S uses Samsung's own Tizen operating system and there is currently no word as to whether the planned mobile payments smartwatch would also use this operating system -- meaning that it would only work with Samsung smartphones -- or go with Google's Android Wear wearable tech OS, which would make it potentially compatible with any new Android Handset.

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