After Apple Pay launched in South Korea a few weeks ago, Samsung has strengthened its own mobile payment service Samsung Pay. It was thinking of charging a transaction fee to partner banks and financial institutions, but it decided not to do it and keep the service free. Now, it appears that Google Pay could be launched in South Korea.
Korean publication ETNews is reporting that Google Pay seems to be working for some South Korean users. While the app isn't available on the Play Store, some users have managed to get it working by accessing Google Pay's APK installation file from trusted third-party sources. Earlier, even after installing the app's APK wouldn't work, and the app would be stuck displaying an “update in progress” message.
Even after getting the app working, users still can't register their local credit or debit card. They need to register a Wise Multi-Currency Card from the UK and then use it to make payments in stores. Some South Korean retailers seem to be accepting payments via Google Pay. While the launch isn't official yet, it looks like Google Pay could be launched officially in the country, especially since Google has been trying to launch Google Pay in South Korea since 2017.
Since Google Pay authenticates payments by simply checking if the phone is unlocked, it is easier to use compared to Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, as these services need biometric authentication one more time during the payment process. However, Google would need to work very hard if it wants to compete with Samsung Pay, as users would need to change their default NFC payment option from Samsung to Google Pay, which not many might do.