Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay… there’ll be one more to add to the list soon. That’s because Korean phone maker LG just quietly outed plans to develop and deploy its own mobile payment service which, to the surprise of precisely nobody, will be called LG Pay.
“It’s official! We have partnered with Shinhan Card and KB Kookmin Card to prepare for the launch of LG Pay,” the company said in an update on its Facebook page.
Those partner names will mean precious little to most TechCrunch readers, unless you happen to live in South Korea or know the country well. That’s because they are local banks that LG will work with to launch LG Pay in its native Korea first. There’s no word on an international launch at this point. An LG spokesperson declined to give more specific details about LG Pay, but did tell TechCrunch that the company “will have more details in the coming weeks.”
Might that mean an actual product or confirmation of plans for an international launch? We shall find out soon.
While LG Pay might have a shot at becoming prominent in Korea, where it is among the top phone vendors, it is hard to see the service making much of an impact overseas — where LG lags Apple, Samsung and others on sales and there are already a clutch of ambitious mobile payment providers. That’s unless there’s space for four different payment mechanisms, along all the third-parties that are in the space, too. Seems unlikely, right?
It might sound unfair to make such a negative assertion before the product has even dropped. But if the challenge is tough for even Samsung, which has significantly greater marketshare than LG and a mobile payment solution that supports a wider selection of payment methods than Google and Apple’s offerings, then it is even stiffer for its lesser rivals.