Samsung Pay made its debut in Spain Thursday, making its first entrance into the European market.
Samsung Pay’s initial launch includes compatibility with Spain’s CaixaBank and imaginBank, with availability for Abanca and Banco Sabadell customers on the way. Samsung said the payment system will be available on the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, S6, S6 edge and S6 edge+. This year’s Galaxy A5 will also support Samsung Pay in the coming weeks, the company said.
Missing from the Spain launch announcement, however, is mention of one of Samsung Pay’s standout features: its compatibility with any standard magnetic point of sale (POS) as well as NFC terminals. According to the announcement, Samsung Pay users in Spain will “need an NFC-compatible POS terminal.”
In January, CaxiaBank told NFCWorld it would not support Samsung Pay’s magnetic stripe technology because the high penetration of contactless POS made it unnecessary.
Still, Samsung Spain corporate vice president Celestino García said “the opportunity for Samsung Pay in Spain is significant, due to the high smartphone penetration rate and the digitalization of the banking sector.”
The roll out makes Samsung Pay the first of the three major mobile payment systems – the other two being Apple’s Apple Pay and Google’s Android Pay – to launch in the country.
Apple Pay, which launched in the United Kingdom nearly a year ago, is expected to head to Spain sometime this year, according to a TechCrunch report. Android Pay is also expected to make its European debut “soon,” NFCWorld reported.
Samsung Pay is already available in the United States, South Korea and China.
In February, Samsung said its mobile payment system had reached five million registered users and processed more than $500 million dollars in the first six months following its U.S. launch in September.