Samsung's Nightmare: In a Single Month Apple Pay in Korea grew 243% and is now available at 110 Offline Merchants
It's being reported today that Apple Pay has surpassed 100 offline merchants within a month of landing in Korea. Despite the limitation of the limited NFC payment infrastructure in the initial stage of introduction, the number of users is rapidly increasing and cruising on a cruise.
According to S. Korea's ETNews, there are currently 110 offline merchants in Korea that accept Apple Pay. This is an increase of 78 from the 32 offline affiliates Hyundai Card disclosed at the time of the first Apple Pay service on the 21st of last month. In terms of growth rate, the number of merchants that can pay with Apple Pay increased by 243% from the beginning.
Apple's NFC-based simple payment service, Apple Pay, started domestic service on the 21st of last month after twists and turns. Apple Pay is the first case of NFC simple payment service in Korea along with the EMV method.
The reaction of iPhone users is also hot. In fact, as iPhone users continue to demand Apple Pay, offline territory expansion is also accelerating. In the early days of the service, Apple Pay payments were available at only four convenience stores in Korea, but as the number of uses increased to Emart 24 and Storyware, a convenience store in railway stations across the country, payment is now possible at six branded convenience stores.
The number of franchises in the department store and shopping industries also increased significantly from 2 to 12, and the number of franchises in the mart and super industries also increased from 3 to 10. The cafe industry was at the level of 6 merchants in the beginning, but now it has increased to a whopping 19, making it possible to pay with Apple Pay at virtually all cafes except Starbucks.
In addition, the confectionery and dessert industries increased by 7, the restaurant industry by 13, the life and home appliances by 6, the movie and book industries by 5, and leisure and travel by 7. The number of places where Apple Pay is used in the hotel and resort industry has expanded to 23. Recently, as GS Calex and E1 charging stations have joined Apple Pay merchants, the number of uses for gas and charging stations is rapidly increasing.
As of the end of March, the number of new Hyundai Card members was 203,000, the highest among full-time credit card companies. This is double the number of new members (116,000) of Hyundai Card in the previous month. It was followed by KB Kookmin Card (149,000), Shinhan Card (136,000), and Samsung Card (127,000).
Patently Apple reported last month that Samsung and the country’s online giant Naver Corp. were scrambling to launch a simple payment service that links their services in March to counter Apple Pay. This news was first announced in late February that Naver Pay and Samsung Pay formed a strategic partnership to consolidate their current dominance over the mobile payment market in the country, a move seen as an alliance to keep Apple Pay's potential growth in local markets in check. It is the first time for Samsung Pay to join hands with financial companies, other than Samsung Card.
With today's news, it appears like Samsung's plan to "keep Apple's potential growth in check" has failed to materialize.