Why Samsung Pay Won’t Be Big in China

samsung pay on smartphone February 2016

February saw Apple Pay and Samsung Pay make the move the China, but they weren’t exactly greeted with the parade that they may have expected.  The reason for this is the fact that China already has two established epayment systems – WeChat Wallet and Alipay.  These companies have had years to refine their place in the market and offer the Chinese people the services that they crave from epayment systems.  Apple Pay came in without features like discounts, online payments, and savings accounts, so the company is already on the back foot.

However, Apple’s products don’t always offer the best features in the marketplace, and yet the company has established itself as the go-to tech brand in many of the world’s countries.  So, if any company can make a success of something without a myriad of features, it’s Apple.

Samsung Pay, on the other hand, probably won’t be as lucky.  This is nothing against the company or its products, which are certainly popular in other countries throughout the world, but it is simply an observation that China seems to be tougher market into which to break.

Factors against Samsung Pay

Samsung may find, through no fault of its own, that its epayment services simply don’t catch on in China.  This will be for two reasons:

  1. China is a Distinct Market

China is one of the most advanced users of epayment systems, thanks to the groundwork put in by Alipay and WeChat Wallet.  This means that the services offered by current epayment companies have become the norm, and Samsung doesn’t offer them.

Samsung’s approach to epayments is that smartphones can essentially offer easier ways to access bank accounts and credit facilities.  This is how they work everywhere else, but that’s not how they work in China.  Instead of paying from their bank accounts with their smartphones, many Chinese use their epayment systems as bank accounts, since many of them offer savings accounts.  Samsung’s way will just seem more complicated.

  1. Popularity

In a nutshell, Chinese consumers just don’t seem to like Samsung.  Around the world the Korean brand is one of the biggest smartphone producers.  But, in China, Samsung doesn’t even make the list of the top 5 most used smartphones.

Apple, third on the list, thus stands a better chance of succeeding.  But, without features like discounts and integrated savings accounts, even the American giant has its work cut out for it.  If either epayment service wants to truly succeed, they had better start conforming to China’s established norms, and do it quickly.

Image credit: http://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/samsung-pay-one-million-users/