Among the piles of phone announcements at Mobile World Congress, Samsung stepped aside to show off its new Wallet app, a new feature designed to store events tickets, boarding passes, membership cards and more. The feature, which doesn’t include NFC tap-to-pay capabilities, will be available in Samsung’s own app store “in the near future.”
If it looks and sounds a lot like Apple’s Passbook, it is. Samsung Wallet has clearly taken inspiration from the Cupertino company right on down to the icon (though how many ways can you design a wallet icon, really?). Samsung Wallet has the ability to alert users when that pass is available to use—like when they arrive at an airport—and provides changes in real-time.
An SDK and API guide is currently available to third-party developers, who can then integrate their app with Wallet pending Samsung’s approval. In similar fashion to Passbook, passes saved in your wallet will display a barcode, which can then be scanned.
Samsung said it chose not to go the NFC route because “retailers prefers barcodes,” and don’t have to “install any new infrastructure to support it.” Wednesday’s unveiling was strictly for developers, so perhaps we’ll hear more about the feature during Samsung’s Galaxy S IV event on March 14.
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