Has Samsung Gone LoopPay?
27 February 2015 by Lucinda Stacey
Some may suggest that the acquisition of the payments system LoopPay is a good indication that Samsung will soon be launching competition for its rival, Apple Pay. For those who are not familiar with LoopPay, it is advertised as a ‘wallet solution’ that lets customers pay with their phones and tablets ‘virtually everywhere’. It consists of an app and a device, which securely stores all payment cards that can be found in wallets and purses. It is as simple as the customer telling the retailer which card they want to use before tapping the device on a reader.
The founder of LoopPay, Will Graylin, posted a message on the LoopPay site stating: “I’m excited to let you know that LoopPay has signed an agreement to be acquired and become a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America, Inc.” According to Samsung, the LoopPay setup has been said to have the potential to work in 90% of existing point of sale terminals. Users can also include loyalty cards, gift cards and other types of cards in the system which is something that Apple Pay has lacked so far.
LoopPay technology turns existing card magnetic strip readers into contactless payment receivers. This makes it easier for retailers to accept mobile payments without changing their existing point-of-sale terminals. Apple Pay has a slightly different technology which requires the point of sale terminals to be equipped with near field communications chip technology. This then allows information to be shared when two devices are held close together.
This all sounds rather complicated for the general user. In simple terms, LoopPay has a clear advantage as it is an attractive tool for retailers who do not need to change their card payment terminals. Apple Pay requires retailers to upgrade their systems to take advantage of Apple Pay, as well as other brands such as Google Wallet. However it would seem that Apple Pay might have the edge, as users of the iPhone simply have to tap their device to a payment terminal and then touch the phone’s fingerprint sensor to authorise a purchase.
Samsung are certainly determined to create something innovative. The co-CEO, JK Shin, said in a press release that “This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce.” It is expected that the technology will be part of the Samsung S6 launch next week. Samsung fans should watch this space…..
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