Samsung announced today that it’s launching “Samsung Wallet” to enable users to store select digital keys, boarding passes, identification cards and more all in one location. The company says Samsung Wallet combines Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass into one secure platform. The mobile wallet was first teased at the manufacturer’s Unpacked event earlier this year.
Starting today, Galaxy users in the United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, Italy and Spain can open the Samsung Pay or Samsung Pass apps to migrate to the new Samsung Wallet on their eligible Samsung Pay-enabled Galaxy phones running Android 9 Pie or later.
Samsung Wallet will give users quick access to their payment cards, loyalty and memberships cards and more. It also integrates with Samsung Blockchain Wallet to enable users to monitor their digital asset portfolio by checking the value of cryptocurrencies. The company notes that Samsung Wallet also includes Samsung Pass functionality that securely stores passwords and verifies users’ identities with their biometric data to log into apps and services.
The mobile wallet can also be used to store important documentation, such as your proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Later this year, Samsung Wallet will start to support official IDs, such as mobile driver’s licenses and student IDs from select institutions.
Samsung Wallet also integrates with SmartThings to support digital automobile keys on select BMW, Genesis, and Hyundai models. The integration will allow users to lock and unlock their cars, start engines and more directly from the mobile wallet. The functionality is available for several models, including the BMW 1-8 Series, X5, X5 M, X6, X6 M, X7, Z4, iX3, iX and i4 models manufactured after July 2020. The functionality is also available for Genesis GV60 models launched after September 2021, G90 models launched after December 2021 and Hyundai Palisade models launched after May 2022.
In addition, users can also store their boarding passes in their Samsung Wallet, starting with select Korean Air flights, Samsung notes. It’s unclear when users will be able to add boarding passes from other airlines.
The company notes that Samsung Wallet is protected by Samsung Knox. Safeguards include fingerprint recognition and encryption to protect users’ sensitive data. Samsung also notes that certain sensitive key items in Samsung Wallet are stored in an isolated environment called the embedded “Secure Element” to help protect against digital and physical hacking.
“Samsung Wallet is bringing a new level of everyday convenience to mobile devices with a totally safe and secure environment for storing digital keys, cards and more,” said Jeanie Han, the executive vice president and head of digital life at Samsung Electronics, in a statement. “As part of our ongoing commitment to open ecosystems, we will continue to expand on the capabilities of Samsung Wallet by working closely with our trusted partners and developers.”
The Samsung Wallet is quite similar to the Apple Wallet, which also allows users to store payment information and personal data, including vaccination records. It’s worth noting that Apple Wallet app has already started enabling users to store their mobile driver’s licenses and state IDs, with users in Arizona and Maryland being the first to get access to the feature. However, Apple Wallet does not currently allow users to store cryptocurrency information.
The Samsung Wallet will also compete with the recently announced Google Wallet, which is a new Android and Wear OS app that will allow users to store things like credit cards, loyalty cards, digital IDs, transit passes, concert tickets, vaccination cards and more.