updated 11:35 am EST, Wed February 27, 2013
Currently in preview form for developers
Samsung today revealed a new mobile app, Wallet, at the ongoing Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The app is similar in concept to Apple's Passbook app for the iPhone, in that it saves items like tickets, boarding passes, coupons, and membership cards in a central place. Each item can be tied to time- or location-based push notifications, and/or updated in real-time if details change.
The app lacks NFC support, despite some Samsung phones including the technology, and a deal to support Visa's PayWave service in future phones. As with Passbook, the main way of validating tickets and passes in Wallet involves scanning barcodes. Samsung claims that many retailers prefer codes to NFC since it doesn't require any new infrastructure, but says it's open to the idea of adding NFC later.
Wallet is currently only available in a developer preview form, including an SDK and API guides. The app is expected to reach the public in the near future though, and Samsung says it has already forged deals with Walgreens, Belly, Major League Baseball, Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com, and Lufthansa. More companies should add support post-launch.