For quite some time, the smartphone connoisseurs, a community that doesn’t often have resonating opinions, have been complaining about one thing. The concept of the smartphone has gotten less and less exciting over the past few years. There’s only so much a person can be excited about for the same glass brick design year after year.
But the smartphone makers have been doing things that silently make these pocket devices more and more integrated into human life. The most recent push, echoed by both Apple and Google, has been the digitisation of the wallet, freeing those back pockets, so people can sit comfortably without a four-layered leather square jamming into their backside. Now, Samsung has hopped aboard the bandwagon as well, with the launch of their new Samsung Wallet.
The Samsung Wallet has been launched in select countries (United States, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Italy and Spain) as an extension of both Samsung Pass and Samsung Pay apps. The feature allows users convenient access to credit/debit cards, Membership cards, and a lot more discussed below.
In a statement, Jeanie Han, EVP and Head of Digital Life, MX Business at Samsung Electronics, said “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. As part of our ongoing commitment to open ecosystems, we will continue to expand on the capabilities of Samsung Wallet by working closely with our trusted partners and developers.”
So what was the wallet meant to hold? Money. While the good ol’ fashioned hard cash has seen its place reduced more and more since November 2016 (the month we don’t talk about) and then 2020 (the year we don’t talk about), Samsung Wallet doesn’t just grant users access to conventional payment cards, but also integrates the Samsung Blockchain Wallet, bringing cryptocurrency and digital assets under it’s wing as well.
With the integration of Samsung SmartThings, the wallet provides access to digital Keys for homes and hotel rooms. The company has partnered up with BMW, Genesis and Hyundai to include support for digital Keys for select models of vehicles from these manufacturers. Samsung has also partnered with Korean Airlines to include support for storage of digital boarding passes.
Additionally, Samsung Wallet will support storage of mobile driving licenses, Student ID cards, and vital documentation later this year. The app will be protected by Samsung Knox, with fingerprint recognition and encryption forming the defensive walls. “Certain key sensitive items in Samsung Wallet are stored in an isolated environment — the embedded Secure Element, which also helps protect against digital and physical hacking,” Samsung said in a statement.
The project is quite Similar to Google Wallet and Apple Wallet. The concept of digital wallets has been on the forefront of smartphone utility enhancement. While Apple has already started its digital ID service in the US States of Arizona and Maryland, all platforms plan to get this feature up and running on their wallet apps.