Samsung is teaming with PayPal for mobile payments on a watch

In the wake of Apple Pay coming to the Apple Watch early next year, Samsung is working on its own mobile payment strategy. And instead of going it alone, it has a highly motivated partner: The company is working with PayPal to bring secure mobile payments to the wrist.

PayPal fingerprint

Business Korea pointed out the effort and added Synaptics to the mix, whose technology may be used for fingerprint authentication, according to a Samsung executive:

We are currently developing the smart watch equipped with fingerprint identification technology and relevant solutions through cooperation with PayPal, the world’s most renowned financial transaction service company, as well as Synaptics, a global company specialized in biometric verification. By the earliest, the third generation smart watch to be released early next year will have this new system in which payment is authorized immediately when users identify themselves through biometric sensors such as a fingerprint or login.

The payment system is reportedly aimed at the next generation of Samsung smartwatches since the current models don’t have fingerprint sensors. Samsung’s current watches may still work with whatever system it devise with its partners, however; perhaps in tandem with the biometric sensor of a connected phone.

On the surface, it may appear that this is another round of the battle between [company]Samsung[/company] and [company]Apple[/company], which compete strongly with one another. I think this is equally about [company]PayPal[/company], if not more, though.

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Pay with the Apple Watch.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Apple CEO Tim Cook introduces Apple Pay with the Apple Watch. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)


For years it has worked towards dominating mobile payments only to see upstarts such as Square begin to encroach on its business. Now that Apple Pay is slated to start online, in apps and in retail stores next month, PayPal has to be feeling more pressure than ever to maintain relevance in this market.