While the app is on other carrier versions of both phones, it’s not on Verizon’s. Could it be a simple mistake? Of course not, we all know each carrier plays games with the software on Android phones, and this is yet another example of the torture they inflict.
Updated on 03-09-16 by Robert Nazarian: Added in statement from Verizon
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Verizon reached out to Digital Trends with the following statement, which unfortunately doesn’t tell us why Samsung Pay was removed from the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge: “Verizon’s Samsung Galaxy S7 and S7 edge devices are compatible with the Samsung Pay app, which Samsung will make available on the Google Play Store soon. Please contact Samsung for more information.”
Both reviewers and customers who received their phones earlier than the March 11 launch date noticed the lack of Samsung Pay, but more importantly, it’s not available in Google Play or Galaxy Apps. Outrage ensued once it became clear that Verizon was completely blocking customers from using the service.
However, it’s not all doom and gloom. Samsung told Android Police that customers will be able to download Samsung Pay from Google Play or Galaxy Apps starting March 11, which is the official launch day for both phones.
We can all breathe a sigh of relief, but we still have to wonder why Verizon had to make this such a problem.
There isn’t an official statement from the carrier as to why, but Samsung supposedly told reviewers that Verizon demanded the app be removed from the phones. Verizon even removed all references to Samsung Pay from the manuals.
This isn’t the first time Verizon blocked a mobile pay app. The carrier blocked Google Wallet (now Android Pay) from being installed on its devices because it partly owned Softcard (formerly Isis), another mobile payment service. However, Softcard was purchased by Google in February 2015. We can only assume that Verizon prefers that customers use Android Pay because it most likely receives royalties from Google. Verizon is banking on the hope that most customers won’t know about Samsung Pay and as a result won’t even look for it.
Interestingly enough, Samsung Pay might be the mobile payment service that you’ll most want to use. While Android Pay and Apple Pay are worthy competitors, Samsung Pay is the only app that can be used on virtually any credit card terminal. It’s LoopPay technology allows the Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge to mimic the magnetic stripes found on credit cards, so there’s no need for retailers to install special hardware. Believe it or not, Samsung Pay is actually growing faster than Apple Pay.
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I guess we have to be thankful that Verizon didn’t completely block Samsung Pay, but it would have been nice if Samsung hadn’t caved on this.