Just what the world of mobile payments needs to boost consumer confidence: Missed delivery deadlines. In a Tweet reply to a consumer, SamsungMobile US has confirmed that SamsungPay didn’t make its November ’15 promised U.S. payment support for the wearable GearS2 smartwatch. The Tweet apologized for the delay—without explaining its cause—and promised that SamsungPay will happen “in 2016. Stay tuned for more information.”
This is especially problematic given that Samsung pushed the payments capabilities as it sold those watches. The fallout from this delay doesn’t only hurt Samsung. When an industry segment is as young as mobile payments, we can’t afford these kinds of delays.
Why is it so damaging? Mobile payments demand a change in behavior, which is hard enough on its own. But what happens when those watch owners get frustrated by their inability to make payments? It will feed their fears that mobile payments really doesn’t work and that it’s too risky an experiment with which to entrust their hard-earned money.
Isn’t Apple Pay proving that, when given a real try, mobile payments do work? Even if that’s the case, the Android side of smartphone shoppers don’t have that option. And SamsungPay, with its promises to support payments even with some systems not supporting NFC, is one of the Android mobile payment bright spots.
Mobile payments are already facing quite a few unnecessary obstacles, such as retailers doing far too little to support the mobile payments that they are using, with insufficient signage and inadequate associate training and tech support resources. And insufficient industry marketing has given the industry consumers who have various unfounded fears, such as that mobile payments are less technologically secure than magstripe.
Samsung, you’re not helping.