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Samsung rolls out new digital wallet

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The Samsung Wallet combines Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass into one platform and provides access to IDs, payment and loyalty cards and boarding passes.

Image: Adobe Stock

In an effort to streamline and provide access to digital information people access every day, Samsung has unveiled its new wallet, which combines the existing Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass platforms into one. The new platform will store and let users access digital IDs, payment and loyalty cards, keys, boarding passes and more, the company said.

According to the company, Samsung Wallet is using Samsung Knox for defense-grade security. Protections include fingerprint recognition and encryption to help safeguard users’ sensitive data. In addition to Samsung Knox, certain key sensitive items in the wallet are stored in Secure Element, an isolated environment designed to help protect against digital and physical hacking.

The wallet also takes advantage of an open Galaxy ecosystem by integrating with Samsung’s Blockchain Wallet to monitor cryptocurrencies and SmartThings to unlock doors.

Additionally, Samsung Wallet expands Galaxy functionality to provide new convenient use cases such as Samsung automobile keys on select BMW, Genesis, Hyundai and Kia models. The company said more automaker partnerships are expected. The storage of boarding passes starts with a partnership with Korean Air.

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Users will see a refined interface and one-swipe access to their payment, loyalty and membership cards. The wallet incorporates Samsung Pass functionality to securely store passwords and let users quickly and easily log into apps and services, Samsung said.

Other features include the ability to monitor a user’s digital asset portfolio by checking the value of their cryptocurrencies across different exchanges in one place. Users can store other critical documentation such as proof of COVID-19 vaccination status in Samsung Wallet.

Later this year, Samsung Wallet will begin to support the storage and use of official IDs, such as mobile driver’s licenses and student IDs. These new features are also protected by defense-grade security from Samsung Knox, the company said.

Use of contactless payments gaining steam

Momentum for contactless payments grew during the height of the pandemic when people became more comfortable using mobile wallet services to make payments and receive funds. Global contactless payment card transactions were valued at $2.5 trillion in 2021, and the U.S. is expected to see continued growth of nearly 300% over the next five years, according to Juniper Research.

More than half (51%) of Americans now use some form of contactless payment.

Google and Apple also offer mobile payment capabilities.

Elias Guerra, founder and CEO of Popwallet, which was acquired by Snap, predicted in 2021 that within 10 years plastic cards, paper cash and metal coins will go away, making physical payments obsolete.

Security experts said digital wallet users should also educate themselves and be diligent about security by using multi-factor authentication.

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“Samsung Wallet is bringing a new level of everyday convenience to mobile devices with a totally safe and secure environment for storing digital keys, cards, and more,’’ said Jeanie Han, executive vice president and head of digital life and MX business at Samsung Electronics, in a statement.

The company also intends to expand the wallet’s capabilities by working with trusted partners and developers as part of its ongoing commitment to open ecosystems, Han added.

Galaxy users in the U.S., France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the U.K. can open Samsung Pay or the Samsung Pass app from their eligible Galaxy devices and follow the prompt to update and migrate to Samsung Wallet, or they can visit the Galaxy Store to learn more.

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