Passbook is one of the few features on iOS that I feel a bit envious of (even if it doesn't do payments like Google Wallet). Apparently Samsung had similar thoughts when it was announced, because the company unveiled a brand-new in-house platform this morning called Samsung Wallet that does basically the exact same thing.
Samsung didn't provide a launch time frame for the service, but we're guessing this was just a taste of the new software features we'll be seeing in the Galaxy S IV announcement on March 14th.
Wallet works quite similarly to Apple's Passbook platform, in that Samsung has announced a number of launch partners who will have items like gift cards, loyalty cards, discount cards, and boarding passes integrated for use in the app via barcode. These items can be location and time sensitive, and special Wallet-only offers and discounts can be presented through the app as well. Yes, it really is just like Passbook. Some of the initial launch partners include Walgreens, Belly, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Lufthansa.
Samsung won't be integrating an actual payment system as part of Wallet, and the app is not configured to use NFC in any way (at this point).
The API and SDK for Wallet are available today, and if you're looking for information on those, you can head over to the relevant Samsung Developers page.