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Samsung’s LoopPay Buy Signals Apple Pay Fight

Samsung needs to compete with Apple Pay on mobile payments and will use LoopPay to kick-start its efforts.

Samsung has agreed to buy a mobile wallet startup called LoopPay. The deal is a necessary one for Samsung, which needs to bring a mobile payment service to market sooner rather than later.

LoopPay’s technology has a key differentiator that may give Samsung a small advantage over Apple Pay, which is already available on the company’s iPhone.

Apple Pay, Google Wallet, and Softcard (formerly Isis) all rely on NFC to make mobile payments a reality. NFC is required in the smartphone and the payment terminal. Users tap their phones to the terminal, the NFC radios exchange info, and the transaction is completed. NFC works really well. The problem, for retailers, is that upgrading their in-store payment terminals is expensive. That’s why Apple Pay is limited to about 220,000 points of sale (out of about 12 million around the US).

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