LG officially announced that it will soon enter the mobile payments market with LG Pay. The Korean company said on Facebook that it has deals with two major credit card companies in the country — Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card — but did not mention a specific launch date for the service or details about how the system works.
Presumably, it will use Near-Field Communication Technology (NFC) just like Apple Pay, Android Pay, and
Samsung Pay. Using the popular NFC system would make it easier for LG to gain support, since it can latch onto all the same retailers whose payment terminals work with other types of mobile payments. Right now, it appears that LG Pay will launch in Korea first, and it’s unknown if it will spread to other markets.
Earlier on, South Korean sources said an LG executive confirmed that LG Pay is coming soon at the LG V10 event. LG Pay has reportedly been in testing for a few months now. LG allegedly ran small tests in South Korea on the Watch Urbane and LG G4 in cooperation with local prepaid brand Cashbee. The fingerprint sensor on the LG V10 will support both payment services, sources say. LG is also expected to add a fingerprint sensor on the LG G5, its next flagship, which usually launches in the first half of the year.
The announcement of LG Pay won’t necessarily mean that LG will block Google’s Android Pay. The company reportedly intends to support Android Pay with Android Marshmallow on its future devices alongside LG Pay.
Once LG does introduce its own mobile payments platform, it’ll be following the trend of LG tagging onto the things its larger and more successful regional rival Samsung does. The Galaxy S6 maker recently launched Samsung Pay, a new intuitive payments service that works with any card reader, regardless of whether it supports contactless cards or NFC-based mobile payments.
LG Pay doesn’t sound like a huge advancement in the mobile payments market, but LG might be able to bake in more payment support than Apple Pay or Samsung Pay, to make LG Pay more versatile.