Samsung Takes Over LoopPay Startup to Compete with Apple Pay, Softcard

Chandan DasFeb 20, 2015 01:22 PM EST
A YouTube file photoSamsung Acquires LoopPay

A recent report by CNET says that the South Korean tech giant Samsung has acquired LoopPay, a mobile payments firm, apparently with a view to go into a direct competition with Apple Pay.

According to Latin Post, the two companies - Samsung and LoopPay were already in a partnership and this resulted in the acquisition. However, neither company has disclosed the terms of the deal. It is believed that Samsung will now boast a new mobile payment solution at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015 on March 1 when it is scheduled to launch its upcoming flagship smartphone - the Galaxy S6 smartphone.

A press release issued by Samsung co-CEO and head of the firm's mobile business, J. K. Shin reads, "Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal."

In terms of technology, LoopPay offers additional benefits compared to Apple Pay. LoopPay has been successful in discovering a means for using the current magnetic strip readers in existing point of sale (POS) terminals and convert them into contact less payment receivers. On the other hand, Apple Pay requires using near field communications (NFC) technology, which, in turn, needs retailers to update their respective terminals to accept NFC payments.

According to Samsung, LoopPay can use as much as 90 percent of current POS terminals even with no need to upgrade them. People using this service can also include their loyalty cards in LoopPay transactions - something that Apple Pay is unable to offer thus far.

Samsung Executive Vice-President (Global Innovation Center) David Eun siad, "What's a real differentiator is this uses technology that's in stores today," adding, "We don't have to wait for a point in the future where there are a lot more [NFC-enabled] terminals."

However, Eun did not clarify whether LoopPay will continue working with iPhones as well as other smartphones or the mobile payment solution would be exclusive for Samsung devices. He just said, "It's not just about replacing your credit card or debit card but replacing your entire wallet."

Meanwhile, Samsung is facing some competition in the mobile payment market, as Google, Apple as well as a new payment solution from AT&T, T-Mobile and Verizon dubbed as Softcard are all vying against each other to offer a new means to the consumers to pay for goods and services.

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