Why it matters: Samsung this week said it has been working on a mobile-first money management platform over the past year and is nearly ready to unveil it to the masses. With the smartphone industry reeling, now would be the ideal time to roll out an alternative revenue stream to help stabilize its business.
The first step in getting there, the company said, is through a partnership with Social Finance, Inc. (SoFi for short). Together, they’re planning to launch an “innovative” debit card this summer that’ll be backed by a cash management account. Additional details will be shared in the coming weeks, we’re told, so for now, we’re left to speculate.
It’s been nearly five years since Samsung launched its mobile payment and digital wallet service to compete with Apple Pay. More recently, the company’s Cupertino-based rival launched its own credit card backed by Goldman Sachs. Google is also reportedly working on its own smart debit card and Huawei has already shared plans for its own branded credit card.
Should this category of tech + finance really take off, it stands to reason that Samsung wouldn’t want to miss out on it. And given the impact that Covid-19 has had on the smartphone industry (one of Samsung’s top earning segments), it only makes sense that the South Korean tech giant is looking for alternative streams of revenue during this uncertain time.