Samsung is taking a big step to battle Apple Pay. The handset maker today announced that it is acquiring LoopPay and its mobile payment system that uses existing magnetic card stripe readers.
The two companies were rumored to be working together late last year on a new payment system to compete against Apple. But Samsung looks to be taking the next step by acquiring LoopPay outright.
LoopPay burst onto the scene a little less than a year ago with its Loop Fob for use, ironically, with an iPhone. In conjunction with a companion iOS app, users would plug the fob into the headphone jack of their device and then load debit, credit, membership, and loyalty card information into the device. When it was time to checkout, the fob transmitted the information to any current magnetic stripe reader on the market. For an extra layer of security, users would need to hit a transmit button on the device and then enter a PIN code for each transaction.
Later in 2014, the company introduced an iPhone 5s/5 case with the payment technology built-in. After the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus hit the market, the company also introduced a solution for those handsets.
I’m not surprised to see LoopPay be purchased by Samsung. Apple Pay has been on the market for less than five months, and is a certified hit in the United States. It is poised to become a long-term provider of additional revenue for Apple. While Apple likes to develop in-house solutions, Samsung has no problems purchasing companies with technology already on the market, just like with the SmartThings acquisition back in August.
For other recent Apple Pay news, see: An updated list of the merchants, cards and apps that accept Apple Pay, A new report says Apple Pay is coming to future editions of the MacBook, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, and Apple Pay will soon be enabled for users of federal payment cards.