Samsung has made its move to counter Apple Pay by acquiring Boston-based mobile payment tech firm LoopPay.
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The electronics giant acquired the mobile start-up for an undisclosed sum. LoopPay launched a fob-based payments solution that works with the existing magnetic stripe readers last year. However, LoopPay had been expected to have its next generation of digital wallet tech on board with the next Samsung Galaxy smartphone.
“Today is a great day for LoopPay and all those who have supported us over the last few years,” said co-founder Will Graylin on the company’s website Wednesday. “Our vision of inspiring consumers to transition from a physical wallet to a truly digital wallet will continue.”
Ed Baig puts the new mobile-payment gadget Loop to the test. It’s a cool way to pay, he says, when it works. USA TODAY
Graylin and fellow co-founder George Wallner will work closely with Samsung’s mobile division, the company said in a press release. Samsung cited LoopPay’s technology, which can work with 90% of current point-of-sale retail terminals.
“This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce,” said JK Shin, the president and head of IT and mobile for Samsung Electronics. “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.”
The mobile payments competition is heating up. Apple famously introduced its Apple Pay system in September 2014 and compatibility with its coming smartwatch product is expected.
Smartphone point-of-sale mobile payments in the U.S. amounted to $3.5 billion in 2014, but are expected to skyrocket to $27.5 billion in 2016, according to eMarketer.
“Samsung’s acquisition of LoopPay signals how serious it is about building and launching a competitive mobile payments system in the United States,” said eMarketer analyst Bryan Yeager. “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.”
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