Rumors of Samsung launching their own mobile payments system have finally been confirmed. Well, for the most part. Instead of developing their own system, the South Korean company announced today that they’ve reached a deal to acquire contactless mobile payments company LoopPay. Competing with both Google Wallet and Apple Pay, LoopPay uses existing magnetic strip readers on pay terminals via Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) — not NFC.
This ensures that, even if a retailer hasn’t yet upgraded their terminals to accept NFC-based payments, you can almost always pay using your smartphone with just a tap. Samsung EVP of Global Innovation Center David Eun had this to say about the deal:
“We are excited to take our relationship with LoopPay to the next level, by bringing consumers a mobile wallet solution that is not just safe and reliable, but also widely accepted at more locations than any competing service.”
A specific dollar amount wasn’t disclosed, but you can expect LoopPay’s technology — which currently requires a bulky case or key fob — to come bundled inside the upcoming Galaxy S6. LoopPay said in a statement on their site that although a wholly owned subsidiary of Samsung Electronics America, they’ll continue to operate as an independent team out of their Boston, Massachusetts headquarters. Could this be the ace up Samsung’s sleeve in competing with the iPhone?