Samsung acquires LoopPay, to rival Apple Pay in US markets

By Jay Jay

With a view to counter the increasingly propular Apple Pay wireless payment technology, Samsung today acquired a rival wireless payment system, the LoopPay.

Using add-on devices for smartphones, LoopPay can transmit stored credit card information to magnetic card readers to ensure smooth payments.

Its Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) system generates a magnetic field that links up with that of the card readers to facilitate the flow of information. LoopPay claims that the MST system works in around 90 per cent of American sale terminals.

This would give Samsung a great advantage over Apple's -Near Field Communication' system that works in less than 10 per cent of sales terminals across the pond.

“MST solves the merchant acceptance issue that has prevented other mobile wallet solutions from reaching mass adoption,” said a Samsung spokesperson. However, LoopPay's advantage in accessibility is negated by the fact that as an add-on rectangular device, it needs to be attached to a smartphone either on it's own or through a case.

Apple Pay, on the other hand, is an internal feature of the iPhone 6, the Apple Watch as well as a few tabs. This ensures Apple users do not have to shell out an extra $59 to buy LoopPay's smartphone case. However, reports have also emerged on Samsung's plan on integrating a wireless payment system in its future smartphones. Given that the LoopPay purchase happened just days prior to the MWC, it seems very likely that the Galaxy S6 will not be compatiple with the system.

A Samsung spokesperson has however cleared the air by saying that Samsung will carry out the integration in the near future.

Even though both LoopPay and the Apple Pay have their own pros and cons, the latter has surely gained a foothold in the market before Samsung made the unavoidable purchase. For us, the jury is still out.

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