Samsung‘s new digital wallet service, ‘Samsung Wallet,’ supports digital automobile keys for a number of vehicles from multiple automakers. The feature enables users to lock and unlock their car doors, as well as start their car engines remotely. Samsung initially teased its digital wallet app at its ‘Unpacked’ event earlier this year before launching it in June. It will be available on all compatible Samsung Pay-enabled Galaxy phones running Android 9 Pie or later. At launch, the service is available in the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Spain, but there’s no word on whether it will expand to more markets in the future.
Many newer cars come with specially-designed key fobs that can lock or unlock a car via proximity. For all practical purposes, the Samsung Wallet app will work similarly by locking, unlocking or starting a car whenever the user gets close to the vehicle with the digital car key stored on their phone’s Samsung Wallet app. Prior to Samsung, Apple rolled out the Car Keys feature to its Wallet app to allow users to lock, unlock, and start compatible vehicles using their iPhone or Apple Watch. It is also worth noting here that cars need specialized hardware, including a built-in NFC chip, to be compatible with this feature, meaning it cannot be rolled out with a software update to all connected cars.
According to Samsung, its digital car key service is available in “select markets” and is compatible with a slew of vehicles from BMW, Genesis and Hyundai. 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 Samsung’s new digital car keys feature.
Much More Than Digital Car Key Storage
Alongside Digital Automobile Key, another notable feature of Samsung Wallet is the ability to store boarding passes for flights. This option is currently only compatible with Korean Air, but Samsung will likely add support for more airlines in the months ahead. The Samsung Wallet can also be used to store documentation like proof of COVID-19 vaccination. That is addition to the standard features, such as the ability to store digital credit and debit cards, loyalty cards, and more.
Samsung also says that people can use the digital wallet to verify their identities with biometric data to help them log into various apps and services. Later this year, the wallet would support official IDs, such as driver’s licenses and student IDs from select institutions. Overall, Samsung Wallet looks like a promising service from the South Korean company, and one that can potentially become an answer to the Apple Wallet for Galaxy users.