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.

Samsung Developers, Samsung Tomorrow, YouTube via The Verge

David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Derek Duncan

    So now Samsung Wallet and Google Wallet/Now.

    • Paul_Werner

      Yeah, Samsung loves to give us what is already built into Android

  • storm14k

    Samsung does some idiotic things sometimes. I understand wanting to differentiate but do so in ways that people can use. There's a reason you barely even hear anything about Apple's Passbook now and that's because its flaky and Google Now stole the show. You can't beat being able to send a well crafted email to a Gmail user to get your information into a Now card. No it doesn't handle gift and other types of cards but that's simply a formality. Look at how it picks up travel itinerary info and shipping info without the companies behind the info barely having to do anything. It makes this whole app/API thing pointless. And THEN you spend the effort and its only for Samsung phones?

    Quite honestly with Samsung reinventing functionality that's core to Android it makes the devices seem like they are just full of bloatware. Gotta wonder if that's going to catch up to them one day.

    • RitishOemraw

      they'll catch up when Samsung web search "Samsearch" and "Samsung Chat On x", a social community site, are released

  • http://twitter.com/GitMuny Ciroc Obama

    Passbook sucks. I have it on my iphone (go ahead boo) and its useless. Maybe I don't travel enough or buy enough movie tickets on my phone but I never use it ever. You're better than this Samsung. I hope.

    • boogie_monster

      If they add a Passbook like feature to Google Wallet, I'd never complain, it's a good idea in my opinion but as you said it depends on how much you travel or how many tickets you buy online! + a "Keyring" feature too, then Google Wallet would be indestructible!

  • http://twitter.com/ToysSamurai Toys Samurai

    >> the app is not configured to use NFC in any way (at this point).

    After the snafu of Google Wallet, seeing how carriers could completely block out the installation of the app, I can't blame Samsung for skipping NFC.

  • mattj78

    Is that really the icon? It's kind of similar to the passbook icon. And why call it Wallet? It's not like there isn't another Android app called Wallet! They really don't help themselves do they?

    • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

      LOL, no they are like a fat kid in a candy store

  • ChumbleSpuzz

    Since I don't have an iPhone, I have no clue about Passbook, but from the description, this sure sounds a lot like the app Key Ring, but with support for boarding passes, which I also get with other apps. So.... I guess I'm missing the point.

  • White Pawn

    Why isn't Google widening Google Wallet. I haven't heard anything about it for years! (Except for more credit cards being added)
    The list of Single Tap merchants, and Coming Soon merchants has not changed since the website of lists first went live!

    • http://profiles.google.com/k3gman Keg Man

      They planned on having a physical google credit card that served as all your credit cards in one. you clicked the card you wanted to be billed on your phone. then swipe the google card and the card of your choice gets billed. Havn't heard much about it since announcement but cant wait

      • White Pawn

        I don't think that was actually announced. It was just something AP dug out in the code. Nothing big except usability of all credit cards was ever announced since its inception. And even that was kind of a trick rather than all cards actually being usable.

  • Matthew Fry

    Isis is supposed to handle loyalty cards on national release- They also have Isis business coupons. A little more integrated and useful.

  • http://petercast.net Peterson Silva

    Ok, this is ridiculous. They could have, you know... Approached Google and improved Google Wallet? Argh.

  • Jon Garrett

    what's the point of having any of this since no Samsung phone has its NFC chip enabled. I have the Note, my wife has the S3 and we cant use our NFC for mobile payments. why?