Samsung might not be in a rush to bring the Pay platform to Galaxy Watch customers in South Korea. Although the company will likely react to Apple's recent release of its own Pay platform, Samsung doesn't seem to have any immediate plans to allow Galaxy Watch users to make NFC payments. And there's a reason for that.
Apple Pay went live in South Korea last month, and when it did, it became available for iPhones and Apple Watches alike. Meanwhile, Samsung only offers its Pay platform to Galaxy smartphone users.
At first glance, it seems like Apple has the upper hand over Samsung, and in a way, it does. But this may also be a hollow victory for Apple.
It's important to note that Apple Watch users who want to make payments through Apple Pay don't have a lot of freedom of choice. Of the nation's 2.9 million stores, only around 70,000 have NFC readers capable of accepting Apple Watch payments. (via Korea Herald)
The Apple Watch offering Pay is not a big deal. Yet
At the end of March, a report said that Samsung might be pressured by Apple to enable NFC payments for the Galaxy Watch within the next few weeks. But contrary to that report, the Korean media now suggests that Samsung will probably wait for the NFC network in the country to expand before rushing into enabling NFC payments for Galaxy Watch users.
With a very limited NFC payment terminal network nationwide, Samsung Pay in South Korea relies mostly on MST. And since its Galaxy Watches don't support MST, enabling Samsung Pay for Galaxy Watches would mean a lot of work for very little gain.
Samsung may want to enable NFC-based Watch payments, eventually. But for now, a Samsung official cited by the Korean media said that “to bring the Samsung Pay payment service to Galaxy Watch products, it requires discussions with related industries including credit card companies due to various issues such as security certification.”
All in all, the media believes that, if Apple can popularize NFC payments in South Korea and help expand the network of NFC payment terminals nationwide, the chances of Samsung bringing its Pay platform to the Galaxy Watch will increase. But seeing how Apple Pay, too, is limited by Korea's heavy bias towards MST, Samsung doesn't have a good reason to rush into new agreements with credit card companies to enable NFC payments for the Galaxy Watch series.