At its MWC 2013 event, Samsung launched its Wallet app, which quite simply is a knock-off of Apple's Passbook, in functionality, user-interface, down to even the icon. For the uninitiated, Apple Passbook is an app that organizes all your e-tickets and passes, be it boarding passes, movie/event tickets, hotel reservations, coupons, with real-time updates on membership points, seats, or boarding gate changes. The app stores all active passes/coupons, archives old ones, and beams 2D/3D bar-codes that are scanned at boarding/payment terminals. Service providers will be able to integrate with Wallet, to let users add their passes to the app.
Currently, Samsung Wallet is available only as a developer preview as the company is scouting for service providers. It already teamed up with Walgreens, Belly, Major League Baseball Advanced Media, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Lufthansa. In what could be a missed opportunity for Samsung, Wallet does not support NFC-based transactions, despite the company's latest tie up with Visa PayWave. The company explained that service-providers prefer barcodes to installing NFC hardware.