Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. has been seeking lately to differentiate its 4-year-old Samsung Pay mobile payments service, and on Monday came its latest gambit: an integration with Curve 1 LTD, a London-based startup that allows cardholders to consolidate all of their Mastercard and Visa cards into a single card or app.
The new connection follows recent moves by Samsung Pay to enable cross-border payments and to launch a virtual prepaid product called Samsung Pay Cash. As with its rivals Apple Pay and Google Pay, Samsung Pay has worked to differentiate itself to win adoption and increase usage in a mobile-payments business that has largely lagged behind expectations in attracting consumers.
Launched in 2015, Curve consolidates all of a consumer’s credit and debit cards into a single physical card and app. It relies on features like competitive foreign-exchange rates and a 1% cash-back offer to stimulate usage. The service also allows users to change the card they want to use for a transaction after the transaction is done.
Curve is clearly ambitious. Its Web site claims more than 600,000 consumers have signed up so far, enough to inspire plans to enter the U.S. market next year. That’s a move the Samsung Pay integration could help push. Like the other Pays, Samsung Pay features contactless links to physical points of sale via near-field communication and authentication via iris, PIN, or fingerprint. Uniquely, its technology allows it to work with POS terminals equipped only for magnetic-stripe card swipes.
“To be able to offer Curve’s unique all-your-cards-in-one benefits to customers of one of the world’s biggest brands is a fantastic opportunity to cement Curve as the ultimate way to manage all your finances,” said Diego Rivas, head of product-OS at Curve, in a statement. “It’s fantastic that Samsung customers will be able to take advantage of all the features of Curve, and we are happy to invite customers of more banks to the Samsung platform.”