Mobile payments are increasingly a big deal in India, thanks to the government pulling the bottom out of the currency by declaring a large chunk of it worthless. Mobile payment systems became one of the great responses to this development, and companies like Paytm reaped the rewards. In fact, developments on this front got so substantial that some firms saw huge gains. Recently, word out of Samsung India noted that Samsung Pay took just over a month to add another million users to its lineup. Samsung Pay enjoys at least a modicum of success worldwide. It’s got nearly 6.44 million users just in South Korea, and that’s one of its biggest markets. Russia is also one of the top three, and now, thanks to the big gains seen in recent days, India is Samsung Pay’s third-largest market.
Further developments prove why India is such a ripe market for mobile payments; not only is the government actively hostile to its own currency as demonstrated by the demonetization effort, but India is now the second-largest market for smartphones on the planet, having just beaten the United States. Throw in the fact that 17 financial institutions—10 of them banks—are now supporting Samsung Pay’s Indian operations with more likely to follow in the coming days and it’s easy to see why Samsung’s gaining ground in India.
It’s good news for Samsung—it already has a Samsung Pay presence in 20 different markets and is available on several devices—and it’s also noteworthy news for India. It’s proving that India is already a pretty substantial market for mobile payments, and based on everything we’ve seen so far, it’s not likely that that’s going to cool off.
With WhatsApp looking to add payments, Paytm looking to add chat, and plenty of other firms making moves on the market, the fact that Samsung has any kind of a foothold at all in the Indian market is something to be pleased about. It’s likely to be a difficult market going forward, and Samsung Pay—if it wants to hold onto that market—should be making plans accordingly.
Still, Samsung has clearly made a splash in India. Given that there are over a billion people in India right now, though, that million isn’t the advance some might think.