Samsung Digital Key lets you use your phone as car keys

Samsung Wallet Digital Key Australia

Samsung has rolled out its Digital Key technology in Australia, letting you unlock and lock compatible cars without needing a set of physical keys.

Now available in Samsung Wallet on devices running Android 13, Digital Key follows an update last year that enabled digital car key sharing. With the feature enabled, you can not only use your phone to unlock and lock your car but also start the engine.

If you share a car with family members who also use Samsung phones, you can also share digital access so everyone has hands-free access. Forgetting your car keys is one thing, but we’re much less likely to forget our phone, which is where the appeal of Digital Key lies.

Samsung Digital Key a step towards a keyless future

Samsung’s version of the digital car key access operates via a combination of near-field communication (NFC) and ultra-wide band (UWB) technology. This means you can enter and start your car without even needing to take your phone out of your pocket.

From a security perspective, there are also measures to prevent someone from taking your phone and immediately getting easy access to your car. As outlined on the frequently asked questions page, you can activate your phone’s fingerprint verification as a safety measure. In this case, to access or start the car, you need to scan the saved fingerprint each time.

Samsung Digital Key BMW car
When you set your phone down on the wireless charging pad, you can activate the fingerprint sensor for added security.

Digital car keys are another entry in a long line of features aimed at making your phone a one-stop-shop for life essentials. From phone calls to banking, and now using your car, centralising access is the goal according to Garry McGregor, Vice President of Mobile Experience at Samsung Electronics Australia.

“The Samsung Wallet Digital Key solution helps simplify the everyday experience for our customers and provides them with convenience and peace of mind through a central and secure hub within their smartphones,” McGregor said.

There is a slight catch to Australians wanting to use Digital Key, however. At first, only select BMW models will support the technology locally. Details about compatible vehicles are available online, but only those who can afford luxury cars can use the feature for now. Fortunately, wider car compatibility is on the horizon.

“We look forward to working with more car manufacturers in the future and onboarding them onto Samsung Wallet Digital Key,” McGregor added.

Compatible devices

Another important aspect of Samsung’s Digital Key feature to factor in is having a compatible device. Pretty much anything that runs the Android 13 platform works, as seen in the below list.

  • Galaxy S20 series: all models (except S20FE)
  • Note 20 Series: Note 20, Note 20 Ultra
  • Galaxy S21 series : S21, S21+, S21 Ultra, S21 FE
  • Galaxy S22 series : S22, S22+, S22 Ultra
  • Galaxy S23 series: S23, S23+, S23 Ultra
  • Galaxy Z-Flip: Z-Flip 5G, Z-Flip3, Z-Flip4,
  • Galaxy Z-Fold: Z-Fold2, Z-Fold3, Z-Fold4

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