Samsung acquires LoopPay, looks to become an Apple Pay competitor

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Date: Thursday, February 19th, 2015, 05:53
Category: Finance, News, retail


It never hurts to be part of the payment infrastructure.

Only two months after rumors surfaced that Samsung was considering becoming an Apple Pay competitor, the South Korean conglomerate has reportedly acquired mobile payments startup LoopPay to bolster its efforts.

Samsung began talks with LoopPay in December to integrate the latter’s magnetic payment technology into next-generation Galaxy devices. That partnership has apparently turned into an acquisition, as noted by Re/code and the Wall Street Journal.

Acquiring LoopPay would give Samsung a ready-made Apple Pay competitor, albeit one not on equal footing. Apple Pay is based on special behind-the-scenes technology and works directly with credit card payment networks and banks, while LoopPay largely mimics normal credit card swipe functionality.

That could prove a problem for Samsung, as the U.S. is set to follow a number of other nations in eschewing swiped card transactions for EMV technology. The EMV standard depends upon a small chip embedded in the card to authorize transactions, rather than reading data from the magnetic strip.

Even so, LoopPay is currently compatible with a far wider array of credit cards and merchants than NFC-based Apple Pay, which requires time-consuming technological integration for participating banks and upgraded payment terminals at merchant locations. That could aid Samsung in the adoption process as it works to add EMV functionality.

Final details have yet to be announced, but we’ll report them as they become available.

Via AppleInsider, Re/code and the Wall Street Journal

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