Samsung buys LoopPay ... to be better at bonking than Apple

Mag stripe compatibility has more than twice the penetration

Just as rumours that Samsung is about to move into the mobile payments space at next week’s Mobile World Congress were reaching their peak, the South Korean firm announced the acquisition of LoopPay.

The LoopPay technology uses Magnetic Secure Transmission technology to turn point-of-sale terminals where you'd normally swipe a credit card into contactless readers.

Founder Will Graylin posted this message on the LoopPay site:

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.

With our earliest supporters at our side, we have been at the forefront of contactless payments to create a platform that brings together issuers, merchants and consumers that facilitate a seamless and rewarding digital wallet experience. We will continue to innovate and operate as an independent team from Boston, Massachusetts.

Our vision of inspiring consumers to transition from a physical wallet to a truly digital wallet will continue. I’m most excited that Samsung shares this vision and has chosen to help change how we shop and pay for goods and services. We look forward to working with Samsung to offer the world’s most secure and compelling mobile platform.

The system is a combination of hardware and software, a special case for an Android or Apple phone stores the information read from the magnetic stripe of a credit card using a device much like that used by Square.

The phone then holds the data and replaces the cards. This should give Samsung a massive lead over Apple Pay. Apple says there are 220,000 point-of-sale terminals which are compatible with its technology – and it has been a huge success in some chains such as Starbucks. LoopPay, however, will work with the 12 million installed mag stripe readers.

It’s expected that the technology will be part of the Samsung S6 launch next week. The Reg will be on hand at MWC to report. ®

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