Samsung Pay is on a heck of a ride lately. The company's mobile payment solution is a little more than half a year old by now, but it has already expanded to a couple of different countries, added loyalty and membership cards, brought support for more banks, and is on track to maybe add online payments later this year. It helps that Samsung Pay has the backing of Samsung's behemoth marketing and the wide potential base of its fleet of smartphones.
This latest announcement though is probably going to be one of the most profitable and impactful: Samsung Pay is teaming up with Alipay in China. Alipay, from parent company Ant Financial Services Group, is a super popular online payment solution in the country with 450 million active users (whoa!). Its physical retail presence though is a bit limited compared to its online prevalence — you might be familiar with the name because of its ties with Alibaba and Aliexpress. But that's changing thanks to this deal.
Samsung Pay users will be able to add Alipay as a payment method and then all they have to do when they're at a retail store is launch Samsung Pay and select the Alipay QR code then scan the code at their merchant's register.
Compatible smartphone models in China are the Galaxy S7, S7 Edge, S6 Edge+, Note 5, Galaxy A5, A7, and A9 (2016 models for the last three), and Galaxy A9 Pro. Notably absent are the Galaxy S6 and S6 Edge, but Samsung says that more models can be added later, so maybe support for them is on the way. And maybe not.