Unlock your car with your phone. Samsung and BMW launch Digital Keys on select models in Australia

    Samsung Australia has announced today that its Digital Key feature is available for a range of Galaxy smartphones. This digital key technology is the modern way to access and unlock smart vehicles.

    Today, there’s a limited number of vehicles that offer this, however, those who own the right model of BMW and a compatible Galaxy smartphone will now be able to store their digital key in their Samsung Wallet.

    Built to function like its physical counterpart, Digital Key is first launching with compatible BMW vehicles and will allow Australian users to lock and unlock their car doors, start their engines and share their Digital Keys with multiple drivers via their smartphones.

    Those compatible vehicles include those which run BMW Operating System 8 and require the optional extra Comfort Access (SA 322). Comfort Access (SA 322) is an optional extra that allows you to unlock and lock your BMW without having to take your key out of your pocket.

    To use Comfort Access, simply approach your BMW with your key in your pocket and the doors will unlock automatically. To lock your BMW, simply walk away from the vehicle and the doors will lock automatically.

    The compatible BMW models in Australia are understood to be the following models and while these don’t come cheap, this technology will soon filter down to more affordable models.

    • BMW 2 Series Coupé (G42)
    • BMW 3 Series (G20 facelift)
    • BMW 7 Series (G70)
    • BMW iX1
    • BMW i4
    • BMW iX
    • BMW X1 (U11)
    • BMW X5 (LCI)
    • BMW X6 (LCI)
    • BMW X7 (LCI)

    Integrated with NFC and Ultra-Wide Band (UWB) capabilities, Samsung Wallet’s Digital Key offers a simple and quick way for users to interact with their car doors by walking up to them, without taking their phone out of their pocket. 

    After registering a car key on Samsung Wallet, users can utilise the NFC and UWB smartphone features to unlock the car door.

    This is a little fussier than Tesla’s digital key implementation, requiring the phone to be placed on the vehicle’s wireless charging pad to start the engine. Having a digital key is one of the best features of a modern car and with digital licenses getting more common, tap-to-pay available virtually everywhere you go, there’s a clear path to the end of wallets.

    The Digital Key will run on the latest Android 13 OS or higher software with compatible Galaxy devices. Residing in the embedded Secure Element (eSE) of Samsung devices, Digital Key can only be activated on Samsung Wallet for Samsung users.

    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.

    Our launch partnership with BMW allows Australians to use their Galaxy devices to seamlessly unlock car doors, start their engines and even share their Digital Keys, thereby offering our customers greater flexibility and convenience. We look forward to working with more car manufacturers in the future and onboarding them onto Samsung Wallet Digital Key.”

    Garry McGregor, Vice President of Mobile Experience at Samsung Electronics, Samsung Electronics Australia.

    Compatible devices

    Eligible smartphones must run the latest Android S(13) OS or higher software. Compatible Samsung devices include:

    • Galaxy S20 series: all models apart from 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

    Digital Key is now available on Samsung Wallet. For more information about Samsung Wallet, visit

    Jason Cartwright
    Jason Cartwright
    Creator of techAU, Jason has spent the dozen+ years covering technology in Australia and around the world. Bringing a background in multimedia and passion for technology to the job, Cartwright delivers detailed product reviews, event coverage and industry news on a daily basis. Disclaimer: Tesla Shareholder from 20/01/2021

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