South Korean electronics and information technology company is going to make its mobile payments service Samsung Pay available in India next year.

Samsung has not yet announced the official date of the release but is reportedly preparing for the launch in the first half of 2017. According to SamMobile report, the company has already started testing the platform.

Since most of the point-of-sale devices in India don’t support payments via NFC, the new functionality can prove to be quite useful in the country. In addition to NFC support, Samsung Pay includes support for Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) which enables payments at stores offering traditional card-swiping methods.

The lack of NFC support could possibly explain why Samsung’s main rivals Apple and Google, which require NFC-equipped terminals, have not yet rolled out their payment services in India. Meantime, Apple has recently rejected Samsung application to register on its app store, what many attributed to the company’s desire to remain the main payment app available for iPhone users.

In view of the recent demonetization in India, the volume of online payments has significantly increased there, so it seems to be the perfect time to launch Samsung Pay in the country. Local mobile wallet providers, such as MobiKwik and Paytm, have also reported a tremendous growth in downloads and transactions.

Samsung Pay currently works on Samsung’s all premium smartphones, like Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy S7, and Galaxy S6. However, this is likely to change with the launch of the payment solution in India. As SamMobile reported, Samsung is expected to bring its Samsung Pay functionality to mid-range smartphones, which are widely used in the country.

Samsung Pay is now available in Canada, South Korea, China, Brazil, Australia, Singapore, Spain, and the US. Last month, the company partnered with one of the leading Russian banks, Sberbank, to launch Samsung Pay in Russia, Thailand and Malaysia. The deal allowed Sberbank clients with Mastercard credit or debit cards to use Samsung Pay.

Under the contract, the platform becomes available in seven major banks, including Alfa Bank JSC, Reiffeisen Bank JSC, VTB 24 OJSC, MTS OJSC, Russian Standard Bank JSC and Yandex LLC. “With this partnership, Samsung Pay now covers 65 percent of all private bank accounts in Russia and 80 percent of the country’s urban population,” said Mr. Arkadij Graf, Head of Samsung Mobile Russia.

Industry experts predict the adoption of wearable payments will grow in the next few years, with wearables being used as often as smartphones. To keep up to date with the latest technological developments and make payments even more convenient, the company has integrated Samsung Pay into the Gear S3 smartwatch. Customers will now be able to make payments without using their smartphones.

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