Samsung has acquired LoopPay, the companies announced today. The acquisition confirms earlier rumors that suggested the two were working closely together on an upcoming project, and suggests Samsung could make use of LoopPay’s technology to offer is own Apple Pay competitor on future devices.
LoopPay even advertises its solution as an alternative to Apple Pay for non-Apple device makers, and advocates its compatibility with systems already in place at retailers throughout the U.S. Its tech currently works using a standalone fob or a CardCase, which incorporates the payment tech into a protective case designed for use with some of the top smartphones currently available. A LoopPay app allows you to input and store payment card information, and the case communicates wirelessly with existing tap-to-pay terminals available at merchants and retailers. It works by mimicking mag stripe technology, meaning it shouldn’t even require updated hardware in most stores.
LoopPay founders Will Grayling and George Wallner will join Samsung’s Mobile Division as part of the acquisition arrangement, and both the company’s talent and the tech will help the smartphone maker further its mobile wallet ambitions, according to a statement by Mobile Division President and Head of IT JK Shin. Samsung is making very clear that the acquisition will help it produce its own mobile wallet solution, likely a direct competitor to Apple Pay.
“We are excited to take our relationship with LoopPay to the next level, by bringing consumers a mobile wallet solution that is not just safe and reliable, but also widely accepted at more locations than any competing service,” added David Eun, EVP of Samsung’s Global Innovation Center, in the joint press release issued by the companies.
“Through this deal we can significantly accelerate our mobile commerce efforts. LoopPay’s outstanding leaders and team have deep-rooted relationships with banks, card networks and merchants that will complement those Samsung has established over the years.”
In December of last year, Re/code reported that Samsung was in negotiations with LoopPay regarding development of an Apple Pay competitor. At the time, the arrangement sounded more like a partnership than an acquisition, but Samsung clearly saw the benefit of bringing the Boston-based company entirely in-house to further its interests.
Samsung is set to launch its 2015 flagship Android smartphone at MWC on March 1, when we expect to see a Samsung Galaxy S6 unveiling. It’s possible that tech developed in tandem with LoopPay will make an appearance with new smartphone hardware, though the fruits of this new union also might not be ready for launch just yet.