Many people who hear the word “wallet” connected to an app’s name may immediately jump to the conclusion that it can be used to make payments. That makes sense since Google has been playing up their Google Wallet app despite the reluctance of carriers to allow it on smartphones. Samsung announced today their own “Samsung Wallet” app that is in development to address some of the other stuff kept in a wallet besides credit or debit cards. The new app will keep track of tickets, boarding passes, and discount or loyalty cards. Samsung also indicates the app will have built in location awareness so it can let you know whether you have a card or discount available when you are near the retailer that issued the card.
Samsung reports they have several partners already lined up to participate, including Walgreens, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Lufthansa, Expedia and Major League Baseball. The partner organizations will be able to provide more interactive functions to the app, like updating boarding delays for airlines or checking how many points may be racked up on a loyalty card program.
According to the information shared during Mobile World Congress 2013 where Samsung was showing off this new app, it will not be linked to the ROAM partnership with VISA that Samsung announced. According to Samsung this means the Samsung Wallet app can be used at retailers that have not yet invested in the hardware needed to accept NFC payments.
You can check out a short video showing some of the functionality of the app below. For right now, Samsung has the app in a beta stage and the API is only available to selected partners. Be sure to check back for more coverage of MWC 2013.