Samsung acquires LoopPay for contactless mobile payments without NFC


Samsung Logo CES 2015 DSC07883

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.

LoopPay graphic

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?



Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. And I will continue to pay cash…

    1. Enjoy carrying around coins and wads of cash with no protection against theft of loss!
      I’ll be enjoying my 5% rewards.

      1. Right? I don’t like carrying cash at all. I don’t even like being paid back in cash, I will usually immediately spend it on gas or something like that to get rid of it.

        1. Me too. Even worse…are coins!

      2. Been using cash for 15+ years, never been mugged once. And I save a whole lot more than 5% by doing so.

    2. What? Cash is an awful idea.

  2. Well all I can say is nothing wrong with making acquisitions; plus hey as long as it works “flawlessly” I’m down.

  3. What about when the U.S. finally switches to chip and pin? Will this work with that technology?

    1. From what I understand, the chip and pin reader tech is backwards compatible with traditional mag swipe cards.

      1. But it’s probably traceable.

    2. Even if it does, their whole selling point of being available more places vanishes.

    3. LoopPay’s FAQ had says this:

      Yes. You can add chip cards to your LoopPay account today and use them at mag stripe readers (MSR) just like any other payment card. However, if the merchant POS terminal is configured to accept EMV cards, you will be instructed to use the physical card to make the transaction via the chip and PIN card reader.”

      Apparently they’re already working on a solution to address this “inconvenience.”

      More here: http://www.looppay.com/?s=EMV

    4. *chip & signature

        1. No sir. The US is adopting chip & signature.

          1. Didn’t see it anywhere on that page, whereas chip and PIN is specifically mentioned. Chip and signature may be the thing happening now, but you can clearly see the executive order mentions chip and PIN.

            What I have found (will little effort and quick research) is chip and signature will be phased out and banks will then be moving to chip and PIN. I know my bank will be issuing chip and PIN, according to their website. When that happens, I’m not sure.

            Even so, is your life that boring you go around correcting people in comment sections without even answering the core question? I’m so sorry about that.

          2. A simple Google search will prove to you that banks have opted for signature, not PIN. Your idea that they are just temporarily going to signature, is silly. Why would they do that? Google it, read it, believe it. Also, a quick trip to LP’s FAQ will answer your question I would answer it, but you hurt my feelings : / Hint: they’re working on it : )

          3. From the research I’ve done, multiple sources have said chip and signature is like a middle step. Getting users used to a new method in stages. Chip and signature, and then phase in chip and PIN.

            And again, my bank specifically says chip and PIN will start rolling out “soon.” I don’t know when “soon” refers to, but if they were going with chip and signature, they’d say chip and signature.

            Believe what you want. In the next couple of years we will be using a chip and PIN card. Promise. If it takes yet another executive order, so be it, but it’ll happen.

          4. “Getting users used to a new method in stages.”

            Signatures and PIN’s are both common. Debit cards have a PIN, as do credit cards for cash advances. So why would people need time to adjust to what is already common?

          5. It’s just the impression I get from the articles I read.

            Also from reading I get the impression that chip and PIN cards and chip and signature are essentially the same, just the payment terminal determines whether you sign or enter a PIN. Could be getting the wrong impression, though.

            Anyway, I personally will be using chip and PIN if I am to stay with my current bank. All that really matters to me at the end of the day.

          6. I’m just baffled as to why they chose signature, instead of PIN. Signatures aren’t safe at all. I have already noticed that using my debit card at merchants that have already switched, isn’t requiring a PIN. If the purchase is under $50, NP signature required either. I suppose I’ll go back to using credit cards exclusively. I hope your prediction comes true sooner, rather than later. For the record, I was not trying to be an ass, by correcting you. It is a common misconception that we are switching directly to Chip & PIN, and I just try to correct that when possible.

          7. Also, apparently in late 2015, card companies will begin holding retailers liable for fraudulent charges on signature based transactions. Sounds like a major move to chip and PIN to me.

          8. Late 2015 is when Chip & Signature is mandated. That is sufficient, to avoid liability. I know, it sucks

  4. So they’re pinning their hopes for the future… On a technology of the past that’s already well on its way out. Seems legit.

    1. Think of it more as a ‘bridge’ between swiping a credit card and the slow rise of NFC and Chip/EMV based payments. At some point payments via NFC or other means will become more common than swiping a card, but that is quite a ways away from mass market usage.

  5. Cards and msr isn’t going anywhere for awhile. Think about how long bills and coins have been around. The world isn’t ready to give up the card anytime soon. All of these technologies don’t introduce a replacement, just another method. If it works, I’m down and I’m not worried about it being left behind anytime soon.

    1. Aren’t* ;-P

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