Samsung Electronics has agreed to acquire mobile wallet service LoopPay. LoopPay’s products can allow a retailer’s conventional card reader to also accept contactless payments, with the ability to work with around 90% of all point-of-sale terminals in the USA.
For consumers, there are options of a separate LoopPay device or using the LoopPay app and putting a customised case on a compatible smartphone.
Customers can ‘load’ their existing debit cards and credit cards to LoopPay, which lets them pay via their phone or by holding a LoopPay device next to the credit card reader. The LoopPay device generates a magnetic field that’s then received by the card reader.
Samsung was already an investor in LoopPay, along with Visa.
JK Shin, President and head of the IT and Mobile Division of Samsung Electronics, said “This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce. Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal.”
Figures from eMarketer show that mobile proximity payments in the USA - payments made with a smartphone at the point of sale in place of a credit card or cash - totalled $3.5 billion last year but are forecast to reach $27.5 billion next year. Similarly, the number of mobile proximity payment users in the USA is expected to more than double from 2014 to 2016.
Bryan Yeager, analyst at eMarketer, said “Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay signals how serious it is about building and launching a competitive mobile payments system in the United States. It also likely gives Samsung exclusive access to LoopPay’s technology, which enables mobile payments to be made at merchants who haven’t upgraded their point of sale technology to support newer contactless payment methods like NFC - of which there are many.”