Samsung on Tuesday said the expansion of its Samsung Pay mobile payment system continued as planned this month with launches in three new countries in three weeks.
The launches, which included market firsts for Europe, Southeast Asia and Oceania, began with the roll out of Samsung Pay in Spain at the start of June. Additional launches in Singapore and Australia followed, Samsung said.
The company said it is also planning to launch Samsung Pay in a number of other markets this year, including Brazil, Canada and the United Kingdom. In addition to Spain, Singapore and Australia, Samsung Pay is also available in the United States, South Korea and China.
The rapid addition of more countries to Samsung Pay’s network comes as part of Samsung’s plan to fuel strong consumer adoption and build its partner ecosystem. The announcement follows Apple’s declaration last week that it is planning to launch web support for its Apple Pay system. Apple also announced plans to roll out Apple Pay in Switzerland, France and Hong Kong in the near future.
Back in February, Samsung said its mobile payment service had drawn around five million users and processed $500 million in transactions in its first six months.
This week, Samsung said the payment service has processed more than $1 billion in transactions since its launch in South Korea last August.
Samsung said Samsung Pay has also grown substantially in the United States since its launch last September. The U.S. version of the service initially started with four partner banks, but now has the support of 300 major and regional banks and credit unions. Samsung said it has also added compatibility for gift cards from more than 110 merchants and membership and loyalty cards from more than 140 retailers.
What sets Samsung Pay apart from mobile payment competitors like Apple Pay is its use of magnetic stripe technology in addition to NFC technology. The magnetic stripe compatibility allows Samsung Pay to be accepted nearly anywhere credit cards are accepted.
In Spain, however, Samsung Pay appears to have launched without support for magnetic stripe payments. According to Samsung’s launch announcement, Samsung Pay users in Spain will “need an NFC-compatible POS terminal.”
Samsung is also looking to expand compatibility across more devices.
For now, Samsung Pay is only available on a limited number of phones, including the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge, S6 edge+, Note5. But Samsung said Samsung Pay technology will also be built into a number of premium and mid-range smartphone options like the 2016 models of the Galaxy A5, A7 and A9.