Samsung is in talks to buy LoopPay, a U.S. startup which offers mobile payment solutions. The move is being seen as an attempt by the Korean company to counter Apple Pay, Cupertino’s recently released NFC payment system.
Anonymous sources, speaking to Recode, have said that a deal is in its early stages and ‘could still fall apart’. However, one insider said that a prototype Samsung phone with LoopPay’s tech baked in has already been built.
As well as supporting NFC payments, LoopPay also has its own system which does not require the contactless tech. Its method mimics a credit card’s magnetic strip, with users able to hold a device above a payment machine’s swipe slot and transfer their details. It already sells iPhone cases and a key fob which offers this technology.
Such tech would make any Samsung phone which used LoopPay compatible with far more pay terminals across the pond compared to Apple Pay, at least in the short term.
The sources also claimed that Samsung’s fingerprint tech, found in its Galaxy S5 and Galaxy Note 4 handsets, would be used in conjunction with LoopPay in order to give it added security.
Samsung’s existing deal with PayPal, which lets users pay for goods via its fingerprint sensor where PayPal is accepted, may also help it get over the hurdle of not having easy access to users’ credit card information. These will be required for easy setup.
Interestingly, LoopPay’s CEO said earlier this year that his service would be on a smartphone in early 2015. While he wouldn’t be drawn on these latest rumours, it seems a new Samsung flagship phone will offer mobile payments, at least in the United States.