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Samsung hints at expansion of mobile payment tool to budget phones

Samsung Electronics Co. signaled Wednesday that the tech giant may expand its latest mobile payment system to budget smartphones, and expected the number of its users to grow further down the road.

Samsung Pay, officially launched in South Korea last month, is currently available for only high-end smartphone models released this year, including the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 5.

"It will gradually expand," said Shin Jong-kyun, who heads Samsung's mobile business, when asked if the company plans to provide the service on cheaper smartphones.

"The Samsung Pay service is going well, and I think more users will be able to use it," Shin said after a meeting of Samsung Group presidents.

While Samsung's latest payment tool can reach out to a significantly larger scope of shops than other rival services, such as Android Pay and Apple Pay, on the back of its magnetic technology, it has been facing limits in expanding the number of users as it only works on pricy models.

Samsung Pay's magnetic secure transmission technology allows users to make payments through traditional credit card devices. The breakthrough gave the service the upper hand compared with other rivals, which only support near field communication.

With the rollout of Samsung Pay, Samsung is seeking to become a leader in the mobile payment market, though it has yet to catch up with Apple Pay and faces challenges from other competitors. (Yonhap)

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