Recent rumors said Samsung Pay might be coming to Galaxy Watches in South Korea, but things didn't look very promising, given that an unnamed Samsung executive responded to the reports with the phrase “nothing has been decided yet.” However, things might indeed change for the better for Galaxy Watch users in Korea, and it all seems to be connected with Apple Pay poaching on Samsung's home turf.
A message from a Samsung Pay staff member appears to have surfaced via a tipster on Twitter. Assuming the text is legitimate and does come from a staff member, Samsung reached a verdict and decided to enable its Pay platform on Galaxy Watches in Korea with a future update.
The message reads that Galaxy Watches will be updated starting in May and that the payment method Samsung will use is based on NFC. Presumably, the Galaxy Watch 5 series will be the first to get the Samsung Pay update in a few weeks.
If true, Apple Pay is totally why Samsung is making this move
Samsung Pay will come to Galaxy Watches enabled by NFC, but it won't matter if the smartwatch is LTE-enabled or limited to Bluetooth. Regardless of these connectivity features, Samsung smartwatches will support the mobile payment platform, says the alleged staff member.
Rather oddly, the message also claims that enabling this feature on Galaxy watches is easy and that the arrival of Apple Pay in Korea influenced Samsung to take this step and work on an update that would expand the Pay platform's availability to Galaxy Watches. Samsung is supposedly reacting to pressure from Apple, and given Samsung's sense of pride, it makes sense that the company might not be keen on letting the US-based giant get ahead in its home country.
Nevertheless, admitting that Apple influenced the Korean tech giant's decisions doesn't quite sound like something a Samsung executive would say openly, so either the staff member that revealed this information is ranked lower in the company's hierarchy, or some things got lost or misinterpreted in translation. Either way, it might not be such a bad idea to take some of these bits of supposedly leaked information with just a pinch of salt.