Samsung takes on Apple with LoopPay aquisition

Samsung’s acquisition of mobile wallet startup Loop is a clear signal that the South Korean company plans to compete with Apple in the mobile payments market.

LoopPay will join Samsung’s mobile division, which is already working on a platform to provide payment-related consumer services, according to the WSJ. And while the mobile payments market is already looking crowded, thanks to long-running but unsuccessful offerings from Google and PayPal, and the recent entry of Apple Pay among others, the acquisition of LoopPay will allow Samsung to provide a different service.

Like its rivals, LoopPay’s technology creates a digital wallet on a smartphone. But while its competitors have required US merchants to upgrade their point-of-sale hardware, LoopPay’s magnetic induction technology means that payments can be made by tapping a smartphone against the same mag-stripe reader already used in the majority of US stores – for now.

Samsung is expected to launch the service when it reveals the Galaxy S6 in about a week’s time. Consumers would then be able to register credit, debit, gift and loyalty cards with the Samsung smartphone and use their handset to make payments.

Both Apple and Samsung will face another rival in the mobile payments sphere later this year, when MCX’s CurrentC launches. This service, backed by the likes of Walmart and Target, will allow users to make payments using QR codes on their smartphone.

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