Samsung copies Apple’s Passbook

Samsung on Wednesday unveiled its own mobile payment solution called Samsung Wallet that looks quite a lot like Apple’s Passbook app which is part of iOS 6. Just like Apple’s Passbook, Samsung’s Wallet too lets you manage your coupons, boarding passes, various tickets and loyalty cards all in a single app and redeem these at a point of sale by showing the digital barcode to a clerk.

Again, just like Passbook, Samsung’s solution supports real-time notifications when, for example, event details change or your flight gets rescheduled. Even the Samsung app’s icon resembles the look and feel of the Passbook icon…

Here’s the Apple’s Passbook icon versus Samsung’s Wallet.

Samsung Wallet, Passbook (icon, small)

The South Korean conglomerate is launching its Passbook-inspired Wallet as a developer preview, describing the solution as “a convenient mobile app which allows users to store and manage event tickets, boarding passes, membership cards and coupons all in one place.”

Samsung said developers looking to integrate Wallet into their own apps can request API access, which will enable users of their software to add passes and tickets to the app. Launch partners include , Belly,, Expedia, Lufthansa, Major League Baseball Advanced Media and Walgreens.

According to The Verge, Samsung Wallet will not initially work with Near Field Communication (NFC) technology:

When we asked why Samsung did not include and NFC tap-to-pay features in Wallet, the company said that retailers prefer barcodes over NFC because they don’t have to install any new infrastructure to support it. Samsung didn’t rule out NFC features in Wallet for the future, however.

This is surprising as Samsung yesterday at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain said its future NFC-enabled handsets will be able to connect to Visa’s PayWave systems available at several merchants around the world.

Samsung is scheduled to reveal its next-generation Galaxy smartphone at the Unpacked event on March 14 and Wallet is probably going to be one of the highlights of the show.

Has Samsung gone too far borrowing design cues from Passbook?