SAMSUNG HAS ACQUIRED Apple Pay competitor LoopPay, a mobile wallet provider that allows payments to take place on existing magnetic stripe readers.
Speculation about Samsung acquiring LoopPay first surfaced in December, along with talk that the upcoming Galaxy S6 will be the first device to feature an Apple Pay-rivalling payment solution from the company.
Samsung made the buyout official on Wednesday. The company didn't announce how much it has handed over for LoopPay, but said that the acquisition's founders will join Samsung's mobile division to push the "next wave of innovation in the digital smart wallet".
LoopPay, which started life on crowdfunding website Kickstarter, already has 10 million merchants using its platform. The firm's technology stores payment information from a credit or debit card's magnetic stripe and transmits payment details to card readers in lieu of a physical card.
The system works over a magnetic field, so it's compatible with 90 percent of existing card readers and does not require merchants to support NFC as Apple Pay does.
JK Shin, president and head of Samsung's IT and mobile division, 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."
Will Graylin, CEO of LoopPay, added: "LoopPay is focused on delivering a digital wallet solution that is dependable for consumers around the world, one that provides more value from card issuers and the merchants that serve them.
"We are excited to join the Samsung family to continue our goal of making smartphones trusted, secure smart wallets and unlock the limitless possibilities of mobile-enabled commerce."
Analysts seem to think that picking up LoopPay was a good move on Samsung's part, particularly because the technology does not require NFC.
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 US.
"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." µ
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