Samsung Electronics (SSNLF) beat Apple Inc. (AAPL) to the punch when it comes to rolling out its mobile payment service, Samsung Pay, in India.

With India expected to be the next hotbed of growth for a slew of new technologies, companies including mobile phone makers and ecommerce players, getting a foothold ahead of the competition is always an advantage, which is the case with Samsung Pay. Sam Mobile, a tech blog, confirmed the launch of Samsung Pay in India earlier this week, saying would-be users of this payment method were invited to sign up late last month and gained access to the service in early March.

Samsung has teamed up with a slew of local banks to offer these service including Axis, HDFC, ICIC, SBI and Standard Chartered. Users can also add their Paytm wallets to the service. Paytm is the largest mobile payment player in India. The report noted Samsung will support credit and debit cards from Citibank shortly. Rumors also abound that it could ink a deal with American Express, as well. Samsung Pay works with the company’s line of Galaxy smartphones. (See also: Samsung, Apple’s Latest Phones May Be a Lot Alike.)

India Moving Away From Cash

The move on the part of Samsung to get into the Indian market with a mobile payment service comes at a time when the Indian government is moving away from cash and trying to embrace a cashless society. In November, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi removed high-denominated currency from the economy in an effort to clamp down on corruption. That resulted in a run on cash and a movement to embrace digital payments. That has resulted increase usage of digital payments. According to Quartz India, in January Paytm saw its daily transactions reach 7.5 million, triple its usual rate, while Mobikwik, another mobile payment provider in India, saw 400% growth in transactions.  

In addition to capitalizing on a growing movement in India to move away from cash, Samsung gets the early mover advantage over Apple and Apple Pay, which last year Chief Executive Tim Cook said he plans to make available to residents of India. Apple rolled out Apple Pay in other regions since then, including Hong Kong, France, Japan and others but not in India. With the addition of India, Samsung Pay is now in 13 countries including the U.S., South Korea and China. 

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