It appears the mobile payment race has become more heated than ever before.
According to a new report from Bloomberg, Samsung’s Samsung Pay solution is closing in on competitors like Google’s Android Pay and Apple’s Apple Pay.
Last month, Samsung announced its mobile payment system had reached five million registered users and processed more than $500 million dollars in the first six months following its launch in September.
Those figures mean Samsung Pay has pulled even with Android Pay and is making steady gains on Apple Pay. According to estimates from Crone Consulting LLC, those services have attracted five million and 12 million monthly users, respectively, since their corresponding launches in September 2015 and October 2014.
A key factor in Samsung Pay’s rapid adoption could be its unique setup that integrates both LoopPay’s contactless magnetic stripe technology (MST) and NFC technology. In addition to being compatible with the NFC terminals used by Apple Pay and Android Pay, Samsung Pay’s MST technology allows it to be accepted nearly anywhere traditional credit cards are taken.
Following the service’s launch, Samsung has worked hard to enhance the appeal and value of Samsung Pay for its users with the addition of more financial partnerships to support cards issued by nearly every major U.S. bank. Samsung said it was also looking to strengthen its retail relationships to allow Samsung Pay users to pay with gift cards as well.
Samsung has also said it hopes to expand its mobile payment system, which is currently available in the United States and South Korea, to China this month, followed by Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom later this year. The company also plans to launch the service in Canada.
As pointed out by Bloomberg, however, hurdles still remain in the lack of devices on the market that support mobile payment services. Currently, Samsung Pay is only supported on five of the company’s Galaxy smartphones, Bloomberg said, while Apple Pay only works on four different iPhones and the Apple Watch.
Out of consumers that own mobile payment-compatible devices, only about six percent use Apple Pay while just four percent use Samsung Pay and one percent use Android Pay, according to data provided to Bloomberg by Crone Consulting LLC.
According to a recent TrendForce report, though, the prevalence of mobile payments is expected to continue to increase, especially with the expansion of Apple Pay and Samsung Pay into the Chinese market.
This year, total revenue from mobile payment systems is expected to hit a whopping $620 billion, up from $450 billion in 2015, the report said. The figure represents a massive 37.8 percent year-over-year growth. By 2019, mobile payment revenues are forecast to reach $1.08 trillion, the report said.