Samsung has launched a new digital wallet service called ‘Samsung Wallet’ that will enable users to store select digital keys, boarding passes, ID cards and more in one location. The new app was first teased at the company’s Unpacked event earlier this year, where the company described it as a “seamless, convenient and secure experience” for users. Samsung originally launched Samsung Wallet almost a decade ago before discontinuing it a couple of years later as part of a concerted push toward Samsung Pay. The original Wallet app was modeled on Apple’s Passbook app (since renamed to Apple Wallet) and offered time and location-based push notifications to alert users when they could use the passes stored in their account.
Wallet apps are becoming increasingly popular for storing digital payment cards that facilitate contactless payments. The Apple Wallet is one of the best and most notable examples of such apps, offering the ability to store a myriad of virtual cards, including COVID-19 vaccination QR codes, digital credit and debit cards, store coupons, loyalty and rewards cards, gift cards, event tickets, membership cards, and more. They also typically allow users to store flight boarding passes, transit cards, student IDs, hotel key cards, etc. Alongside Apple and Samsung, Google is also said to be working on adding a slew of new features to Google Pay to make it a more comprehensive digital wallet.
The new Samsung Wallet app combines Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass into one platform and also integrates with SmartThings to unlock doors with digital home and car keys. What’s more, the service also supports cryptocurrencies and integrates with Samsung Blockchain Wallet to help users monitor their cryptocurrency portfolio. According to Samsung, people using compatible Samsung Pay-enabled Galaxy phones running Android 9 Pie or later can migrate to the new Samsung Wallet starting today. The service is available in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain, but there’s no word if it will expand to more markets.
Opening Car Doors, Storing Driver’s Licenses And More
As for some of the other things that users can do with Samsung’s new mobile wallet, the company says that people can use it to verify people’s identities with their biometric data to help them quickly and easily log into apps and services, as well as store documentation like proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Samsung also said that later this year, the wallet would support official IDs, such as driver’s licenses and student IDs from select institutions. In addition, Samsung Wallet will support boarding passes from Korean Air, but it’s unclear when it will add support for more airlines.
Another highlight feature of the Samsung Wallet app is the ability to integrate with SmartThings to support digital automobile keys for select BMW, Genesis and Hyundai vehicles. As part of the plan, the wallet will enable users to lock and unlock their car doors, as well as start their car engines remotely. Supported vehicles include the BMW 1-8 Series, X5, X5 M, X6, X6 M, X7, Z4, iX3, iX and i4 models manufactured after July 2020. The feature is also available for Genesis GV60 models launched after September 2021 and G90 models launched after December 2021. In addition, Hyundai Palisade models launched after May 2022 are also supported by the new Samsung Wallet feature.