LG Pay joins crowded US digital wallet market with support for only one phone
LG's mobile phones are certainly not as popular (or as profitable) as they used to be, but the company still believes it can compete against the likes of Apple and Samsung on all levels of the crucial US market. That's why LG Pay is officially launching stateside... a whole two years after making a limited debut in the tech giant's South Korea homeland and several years after initially appearing in the rumor mill.
More importantly, the "new" mobile payment platform is joining a super-crowded and competitive segment, taking on well-established services from Apple, Google, and Samsung. On paper, LG Pay does hold a major advantage over the likes of Google Pay and Apple Pay, working with both NFC (near-field communication) readers and magnetic stripe terminals thanks to wireless magnetic communications (WMC) technology.
That essentially means you will be able to use LG Pay in far more places than Google and Apple's proprietary digital wallet solutions, although Samsung Pay is also equipped with similar Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) functionality allowing Galaxy smartphone owners to easily pay for stuff nationwide. In a nutshell, wherever your traditional credit or debit card works, so should LG Pay and Samsung Pay.
Of course, LG needs time to collect a list of banking partners as robust as those accumulated over the years by Google or Apple, currently supporting Mastercard and Visa cards issued by Chase, PNC Bank, Regions Bank, State Employees' Credit Union, U.S. Bank, and Virginia Credit Union. But perhaps the biggest obstacle preventing LG Pay from dreaming big in terms of initial adoption is G8 ThinQ exclusivity.
That's right, the mobile payment app is available on just one (not-very-popular) phone at launch, although for what it's worth, LG promises to expand support to the V50 ThinQ 5G, V40 ThinQ, G7 ThinQ, and V35 ThinQ in the "coming months", with compatibility for "future LG flagship smartphones" obviously also guaranteed.