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Samsung Pay Enters Europe Via Spain

Mobile World Congress - Day 1Mobile World Congress - Day 1
Visitors look at the new Samsung Galaxy S7 on the opening day of the World Mobile Congress on Feb. 22, 2016, in Barcelona. Photograph by David Ramos — Getty Images

Samsung (SSNLF) has launched its contactless payment service, Samsung Pay, in Spain. This is the company’s first foray into the European payments market, giving the owners of devices such as the Galaxy S7 an extra use for their phone.

It also gives Samsung an edge over its rivals, Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), on the European mainland. So far, within the EU, Apple Pay and Android Pay are only available in the U.K.

Samsung Pay was already available in the U.S., China and South Korea.

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“Samsung operates an open model of partnership and collaboration to deliver the best possible customer experience,” said Victor Kim, the global director for Samsung Pay. “We’re confident that we’re providing Spanish customers with the mobile payments service that they’re looking for.”

The company’s first banking partners in Spain are CaixaBank and imaginBank, while customers of Abanca and Banco Sabadell will soon also be able to link their accounts with their Samsung phones.

The department store chain El Corte Inglés will also issue cards in Spain to let customers buy items with Samsung Pay.

A recent Reuters report noted that Apple has seen slow uptake of its mobile payments system outside the U.S. Many people already have bank cards that let them make quick and easy contactless payments.

Indeed, a Visa report last year noted that Spain has the most contactless payment terminals of any European country.

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Samsung said its service would be compatible with all these terminals. “The Spanish market’s progressive approach to digital payments makes it a logical launch market for Samsung Pay,” said the director of Samsung Pay Europe, Nathalie Oestmann.

The firm said it was working with various retail partners to “create value-added services for their customers,” in order to encourage people to use the Samsung system.