Samsung stepping up its e-pay system as it explores virtual reality shopping

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 07 April, 2016, 12:08pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 11 October, 2016, 1:04pm

Samsung is looking to step up its effort in electronic payments and is considering catching up with Apple in rolling out in-app purchases using its Samsung Pay – as well looking at the potential of paying in virtual reality.

The South Korean electronics giant launched Samsung Pay last year, its answer to Apple Pay which allows users to tap their phones on a reader to pay for anything.

Samsung Pay recently launched in the U.S. and China after a debut in South Korea. Now the company is considering the next steps to build on the product, which could include loyalty schemes and in-app purchases.

"Gift cards I think provide us with a unique way to provide offers, we have in-app, that is on our road map, online commerce, being able to pay online with Samsung Pay is very important," according to Nathalie Oestmann, head of Samsung Pay Europe.

"People are browsing retail sites. Many are browsing but only a small number are paying. Merchants will want to close that gap, banks would like to close that gap, if you use Samsung Pay in an in-app capacity, you won't have to re-enter card details."

Apple Pay currently has in-app purchasing capabilities but Samsung is yet to launch this feature.

In the first six months after its launch, Samsung Pay had 5 million users.

Samsung has been pushing its virtual reality technology recently. It's Gear VR headset went on sale last year and the South Korean electronics giant launched its 360 degree camera earlier this year to allow uses to film VR video. Now the company sees the worlds of virtual reality and payments converging in the future.

"Some conversations we have been hearing about is how great would it be if you could enter a store with your VR headset and you browse the store in VR. You can click and pick what you want. I would like to be the payment mechanism behind that," Oestmann said.

The Samsung executive described how a user could just look at the product they want in virtual reality, select it and then check out with Samsung Pay.