- Samsung is introducing a rewards program to users of its payments platform, enabling enrollees to earn points on transactions that can be redeemed for a variety of items, including retailer gift cards, prepaid Samsung Rewards Visa gift cards, Samsung products and more.
Users can track their points and rewards status, browse offers and redeem points directly within the Samsung Pay app, and eventually via Samsung.com as well.
With frequent monthly transactions, shoppers achieve different status tiers for that month to multiply their points: Five transactions in one month, for example, will give a user “Silver” status and twice the points for every transaction they conduct using Samsung Pay.
Samsung is rolling out the rewards program this week in the U.S. Users of all Samsung devices equipped with Samsung Pay are eligible, including the Note 5, Galaxy S7/S7 Edge and Gear S2 and S3 devices. The device maker claims this is the first rewards program tied into a mobile payments platform, and we were hard-pressed to prove them wrong: If that is indeed the case, it is actually kind of surprising that Apple and/or Google didn't think of doing something like this first. Rewards programs are of course popular with credit card companies, banks and retailers, but there is no reason pretty much any payment provider can't jump into that pool.
Samsung has been upping its game lately as it tries to pump up Samsung Pay adoption and usage. Just last month, it enabled in-app payments to be used in connection with a handful of merchants, and it also announced that users would be offered instant discounts and coupons that could be redeemed at stores and restaurants near their phone locations. In retrospect, the discount and coupon offer now seems like a natural precursor to rolling out the rewards program.
Can rewards program and special offers help Samsung Pay adoption and usage soar? Rewards programs can be powerful motivators, though in this instance it seems more likely to provide a bump in usage among consumers who are already fans of mobile payments, and already try to use Samsung Pay every chance they get. New Samsung Pay users may find a lot to like in the rewards program, but even with the incentive, it is hard to imagine them going from no mobile payments to 10 or 20 per month.
The card companies and banks that offer rewards programs have it somewhat easier because their modes of payment are more widely accepted. Users usually don't have to take time to find out if a given retailer accepts a certain card, as they most likely need to do now with Samsung Pay.
Speaking of retailers, a rewards program like this could give them reason to want to accept Samsung Pay or encourage customers to use it for purchases. The rewarding of retailer gift cards for frequent transactions only means more revenue action overall for retailers. It may not make a huge difference, but it could help Samsung Pay stay competitive in the mobile payments game.