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February 19, 2015

Hey Apple! Samsung buys potentially game-changing mobile payment company

Brian Galloway for redOrbit.com - Your Universe Online - @brigallo17

Mobile payment seems to be the “next big thing” for smartphone manufacturers. Samsung has now purchased “LoopPay”, a company that could provide a unique method of mobile payment for mobile devices.

Many current mobile payment solutions rely on near-field communication (NFC) technology for data transfer. This requires a specialized card-reader that can interact with the NFC chip in a mobile device.

[Related story: MasterCard to combine biometric technology with NFC payments]

LoopPay could be a game-changer, though

LoopPay’s technology can use NFC payment, but the product also has a unique and potentially game-changing feature. Their “Magnetic Secure Technology” (MST) projects a field that emulates the magnetic strip on most American credit cards. This means that the technology works with existing card readers and doesn’t require special payment terminals.

Users store their card information within the LoopPay app, similar to current mobile wallet applications such as Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

[Related story: PayPal's beacon uses BlueTooth instead of NFC]

The company addresses security concerns on their website- “LoopPay encrypts all data to prevent access or use by others.” Consumers are wary after retailers such as Home Depot lost millions of credit card numbers through hacking.

Not yet a mobile technology

Currently LoopPay offers MST enabled key fobs, cards, and smartphone cases, reports Ars Technica. Samsung could include MST functionality in future smartphones to streamline the process.

Android has software-based mobile payment solutions such as Google Wallet, but no direct competition to Apple Pay, observes The Verge. Samsung is in a position to make waves in the smartphone market if they can integrate LoopPay’s technology in an easy-to-use fashion.

As crazy as it sounds (not really that crazy), carrying a credit card may soon be a thing of the past.

[Related story: Google Wallet will replace checkouts in six months]

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