Samsung will enter the mobile ticketing game and release an Android app that can save boarding passes, coupons, membership reward information, and more. It’s pretty much Passbook for Samsung’s Android smartphones.
Samsung Wallet debuted earlier today at a developer presentation at Mobile World Congress. Samsung revealed that, just like Apple Passbook, Wallet is designed to store digital copies of the things that would normally appear in your traditional wallet. The app doesn’t support NFC mobile payments, but it stores other data. Developers can access a new SDK and API set to store event tickets, hotel confirmations, membership data, loyalty cards, and more. The app securely stores the data and pushes notifications when near a place or time that Wallet items can be used.
Similar features aren’t surprising given that there are several players attempting to provide an integrated solution for digital wallets. Apps like Cardstar stored membership and loyalty cards long before Passbook came along, and Google Wallet has always sought to merge digital payments, ticketing, and rewards cards. However, as The Verge points out, Samsung Wallet has design similarities in the app and icon that are obviously reminiscent of Apple’s Passbook. That should make for some interesting discussions between the two companies entangled in court cases over alleged copying of each other’s patents and designs.
While the lawyers will surely be even busier soon, Samsung is focused on launching Wallet with as many partners as possible. Booking.com, Expedia, Major League Baseball, Hotels.com, and Walgreens are among the companies that have already signed-on to participate. More news on Wallet will likely appear when Samsung announces the Galaxy S IV next month.