New Samsung Wallet combines the best of Pay and Pass into one less confusing app

Samsung follows Google’s lead by putting payments, IDs, passwords, and more in one place

Last month, Google streamlined its payment platforms, transforming the legacy version of Pay — which is still used in most of the world — into Wallet. It’s a rebranded application designed to go beyond the limits of simple credit cards and transactions between friends. Today, it’s Samsung’s turn to follow suit. The company is launching Samsung Wallet, a combination of its Pay and Pass platforms that mixes tap-to-pay transactions with driver’s licenses, car and home keys, and much more.

Rather than adding a ton of new payment features, Samsung’s new app combines two pre-existing services: Pay and Pass. It’s a similar philosophy to that adopted by Google this year, as both companies attempt to touch on every card found in your real-world wallet. Samsung has kept support for its mobile payment system, with credit and debit cards stored alongside loyalty and membership IDs. It’s not ready at launch, but the company plans to support digital driver’s licenses and student IDs in supported states and schools, respectively. And just like Google, Samsung has made sure to support COVID-19 vaccination cards, as well, for those regions where vaccine status is still regularly checked.

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However, Wallet doesn’t stop there. With Pass support, the app doubles as a password manager, eliminating the need for services like LastPass or Bitwarden. SmartThings is here as well, linking home security systems, digital car keys, and smart door locks. Also, because it’s 2022 and everything has to support Web3, Samsung Wallet integrates the company’s blockchain app, allowing any user with a collection of cryptocurrency to keep an eye on their financials in these ever-trying times. The entire platform is backed by Samsung Knox, with support for fingerprint unlocks and encrypted data to keep user information safe and secure.

Many of these features rely on support largely outside of Samsung’s control — for example, digital car keys only work with select BMW, Genesis, and Hyundai models, limiting their support for the broad majority of customers. Still, it’s obvious that expanding a mobile payment platform into something all-encompassing is the right move. Apple routinely adds more options to its digital wallet with every iOS update, and Google Wallet will likely follow a similar pattern. With Samsung Wallet, the company is prepared to keep up with the competition. As ecosystem lock-in becomes more crucial than ever — even within Android as an OS — it’s an essential move.

Samsung Wallet is launching in the US, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK. It won’t require a separate download — instead, users on Galaxy devices running Android 9 Pie or later will receive a prompt after opening Pay or Pass to upgrade to the new service.

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