Verizon (NYSE: VZ) is the only major U.S. carrier that is not pre-loading Samsung Pay on new Galaxy S7 phones, Samsung said, confirming earlier reports that the nation's largest operator isn't actively supporting the mobile payments offering.
Android Police reported earlier this week that Verizon had "removed" Samsung Pay from the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, and reviewers had reportedly cited Samsung representatives saying Verizon demanded the service not be included on those models on its network. The carrier also reportedly omitted information about Samsung Pay from the user manuals of its versions of the handsets.
However, Verizon said it hasn't gone so far as to block Samsung Pay, as other outlets have noted. A Verizon representative told FierceWireless that its Galaxy S7 phones "are compatible with the Samsung Pay app," adding that the app will soon be available in the Google Play store and accessible to Verizon customers.
Verizon declined to confirm that it had opted not to pre-load the app into the Galaxy S7, though, and didn't say why Samsung Pay isn't pre-loaded on its S7 phones.
A Samsung representative confirmed Verizon's decision not to include Samsung Pay in Verizon S7 phones. The representative told FierceWireless though that "all the other major carriers do preload Samsung Pay."
Verizon had joined AT&T (NYSE:T) and T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS) to back Softcard, a carrier-backed mobile payments system aimed at competing with Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) Wallet, PayPal and others in the emerging space. But Google bought Softcard last year in a deal that saw Google Wallet pre-installed on phones running Android KitKat or higher sold by those carriers.
While Verizon no longer has a major stake in the mobile payments space, then, some have speculated that Samsung hasn't agreed to sufficiently split revenues from its mobile payment app with the carrier.
Regardless of its motive, Verizon's lack of support for certain mobile payments solutions is nothing new. The carrier actively blocked Google Wallet when it was pursuing Softcard (which was then known as Isis), although it claimed to do so on technical grounds.
Samsung Pay has grown faster than Apple Pay since its U.S. launch in September, according to a report last week from Bloomberg, but the market for mobile payments is still tiny. The outlet said last week that Samsung Pay has accrued 5 million users and rung up more than $500 million in transactions in the last six months, although only 4 percent of users who own devices that can use the offering actually do so.
- see this Android Police report
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