Google said goodbye to Google Pay a few months ago when it introduced the revamped Google Wallet, and now it appears that Samsung is doing the same for its own ecosystem. The company today announced Samsung Wallet, which will combine Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass into one all-inclusive app.
Samsung Wallet will hold your virtual cards, with which you can tap to pay at NFC-enabled payment terminals. It’ll also let you present your boarding passes and loyalty cards. Support for identification cards, including driver’s licenses and student IDs, is coming later this year.
If you have a digital key to get into your home via a smart lock, that will also be available through the SmartThings integration in Samsung Wallet. The company has partnered with nine home security companies for digital home keys, including August, Kwikset, and Schlage. You can whip out your smartphone to unlock the door when you approach your house. It’s similar to a feature already on supported iPhones and Apple Watches, which lets you add a digital key to Apple Wallet through the Home app.
If you’re into crypto, you might be excited to hear Samsung will let you access your wallet through its Blockchain Wallet. However, there is little about how the ability will work in the initial press release. Samsung merely claims the Blockchain Wallet will “help users quickly monitor their digital asset portfolio by checking the value of their cryptocurrencies across various exchanges.” In the fine print, the company elaborates that it will only be available on “select exchanges,” so its usefulness will differ based on where you keep your crypto cash.
Lastly, Samsung Wallet will support digital car keys, just as Google and Apple do. Select BMW, Genesis, and Hyundai models will have the functionality. You’ll be able to lock and unlock a car with Samsung Wallet and even start the engine remotely. We’re living in the future, people!
You might be wondering: if Samsung phones run Google’s Android, why does the company feel the need to push its own wallet app alongside what Google already provides through Google Wallet? (Or is it Google Pay?) That’s because it’s about the ecosystem, baby. In its press release, Samsung says it plans to expand on its wallet app’s offerings in the future.
The company’s payment app isn’t bad if you’re sporting a Samsung smartphone or even a Samsung smartwatch paired with another manufacturer’s Android device. I used it for a while when I was on a Galaxy smartphone and still use it now as part of the experience with my Samsung Galaxy Watch 4. At the very least, now Android users have another option if they’re tired of waiting for Google Wallet’s takeover in Android 13.
Samsung Pay will still exist as a service, though Samsung Wallet will replace it in the Google Play Store. The standalone versions of Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass will not be usable once you upgrade to Samsung Wallet.