Amid all the promotional flap surrounding the release of the new Samsung Galaxy S7 smartphone one small difference in Verizon’s version of the device almost slipped under the radar…almost.
As initially reported by Android Police, Verizon is the only carrier that will not preload the app for Samsung’s burgeoning mobile payment system, Samsung Pay. Verizon confirmed the news in a Wednesday email.
Verizon, however, said it is not blocking the service and noted customers who want to use Samsung Pay will still be able to do so – they just have to download the app themselves.
A Verizon spokesman said the Samsung Pay app is currently “undergoing routine testing” but “will be available from the Google Play Store on schedule for the March 11 launch date of the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 edge.”
A Samsung spokesperson on Wednesday confirmed all other major carriers will offer Samsung Pay as a preloaded app.
Verizon did not comment on why it has chosen to remove the app and make customers go the extra mile to get it, but Android Police and others have speculated it has to do with a disagreement over the Samsung Pay revenue split between the two companies.
If that was indeed the case, Samsung had a good reason to hold back. According to Samsung Electronics 2015 audit as reported by Korean news agency ETNews, Samsung Pay posted just over $4.1 million in sales but $16.8 million in net losses. The service was launched last fall in the United States. and South Korea
As of late February, Samsung said Samsung Pay had more than five million registered users. Samsung is planning to expand the payment service to China this month, followed by Australia, Brazil, Singapore, Spain and the United Kingdom later this year.
This isn’t the first time, though, that Verizon has blocked a mobile payment system.
In 2011, Verizon blocked Google from preloading its Google Wallet app on devices sold by the carrier.
At the time, Verizon had its fingers in a different mobile payment system, called Softcard, that was created in 2010 through a joint venture with AT&T and T-Mobile.
In a twist of fate, Google Wallet absorbed parts of Softcard in 2015 and Verizon – along with AT&T and T-Mobile – agreed to allow Google to preinstall the payment app on Android devices sold by the carriers.