One of the great things about smartphones is that the software is always changing, with features being added and improved regularly, and so it is with Samsung phones as they now have access to a Samsung Wallet app.
This new app is essentially a combination of the old Samsung Pay and Samsung Pass apps, but with some new features and Samsung Blockchain Wallet integration for good measure.
In the Samsung Wallet app, you can store payment cards (to make contactless payments) and also store loyalty and membership cards. But you can also use it as a password manager to store and access your passwords, and if you own any cryptocurrencies, you can use Samsung Wallet to check their value on various exchanges.
Other documents, such as COVID-19 vaccination records, can also be stored in Samsung Wallet, as can boarding passes, although airlines have to opt-in to this, and at the moment it appears that only Korean Air has done so.
And thanks to the SmartThings integration, Samsung Wallet can also be used to store digital home and car keys. So far, the company has partnered with nine home security companies for this, as well as BMW, Genesis and Hyundai – although only select cars are supported. Over time, Samsung hopes to sign more car brands as well.
Samsung also plans to support things like driver’s licenses and student IDs in Wallet starting later this year.
Of course, with all this important information stored on the Samsung Wallet, it needs serious security, and for that, Samsung is using its Knox security platform, which allows Wallet to encrypt data and require a fingerprint for access. Really sensitive data can also be stored in an isolated environment to protect against hackers.
If you live in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy or Spain and you have a Samsung Pay compatible Galaxy phone running Android 9 or later, you should have access to Samsung Wallet now. Just open Samsung Pay or Samsung Pass and you will be prompted to migrate your data to the new service.
If Samsung Wallet’s features sound familiar, it’s probably because iPhone users have access to a very similar offering in the form of the Apple Wallet.
The feature set isn’t identical, but the idea is basically the same, with Apple Wallet payment cards, car keys, boarding passes, loyalty cards, tickets and more. In fact, it even supports driver’s license and state IDs in some areas, so it’s a little ahead of Samsung there.
Google is also working on a similar idea called – unsurprisingly – Google Wallet, which is likely to be released soon. So if you have an Android phone but not a Samsung one, you won’t have to miss out on all these Wallet perks for a long time.