Mobile payments have been slow to catch on in the United States and elsewhere, despite strong backing. Apple, Google, and eBay PayPal have all launched services to allow users to pay in stores via smartphones and the stores themselves are expected to release a new standard of their own.
Most of the problem is that retailers have been reluctant to adopt the hardware and software infrastructure required for these new mobile payment options to work before a standard is sorted out. There was no point in investing in BetaMax when VHS kills it.
LoopPay’s technology differs because it works off existing magnetic stripe card readers at checkout, changing them into contactless receivers, they said. About 90 percent of checkout counters already support magnetic swiping.
“If you can’t solve the problem of merchant acceptance…, of being able to use the vast majority of your cards, then it can’t really be your wallet,” said David Eun, head of Samsung’s Global Innovation Center.
Injong Rhee, who is leading Samsung’s as-yet-unannounced payments project, said the Asian giant will soon reveal more details of its envisioned service. He would not be drawn on speculation the company may do so during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
He said new phones such as the new Galaxy would support the service.
Samsung had invested in LoopPay, along with Visa and Synchrony Financial, before its acquisition.
Rhee said in an interview that the company intends to roll out accompanying services that go beyond merely turning the smartphone into a wallet, such as by allowing users access to information such as spending.