Samsung has entered the contactless payments market with the purchase of the LoopPay digital wallet company, both firms confirmed today.
LoopPay technology works with existing NFC readers, but also enables retailers to turn their existing magnetic stripe card machines into contactless receivers. Consumers must insert their device a Card Case and input their credit card details into a companion app in order to begin making contactless payments.
The firm makes its own cases but announced the launch of a host of third-party-built solutions for a wide range of devices during the recent CES expo.
The newly-signed agreement is likely to see LoopPay’s technology built directly into Samsung’s handsets and smart watches.
According to a joint press release (via TechCrunch) LoopPay’s tech “has the potential to work in approximately 90 per cent of existing point of point-of-sale terminals,” and joining Samsung will boost its “overall efforts to provide users with seamless, safe, and reliable mobile wallet solutions.”
The LoopPay team will join up with Samsung Mobile to “drive the next wave of innovation in the digital smart wallet,” the release adds.
The acquisition will no doubt fuel speculation Samsung will attempt to set up a rival to the Apple Pay platform available on the iPhone and forthcoming Apple Watch.
Samsung’s mobile boss J.K. Shin virtually admitted as much with his comments on Wednesday. “Through this deal we can significantly accelerate our mobile commerce efforts. LoopPay’s outstanding leaders and team have deep-rooted relationships with banks, card networks and merchants that will complement those Samsung has established over the years.”
Could the first fruits of the arrangements be revealed when Samsung announces the Galaxy S6 at MWC 2015 a week from Sunday?