Earlier this year, Apple boldly stepped into the world of mobile payments with its own proprietary system called Apple Pay. Apple Pay is only available to iPhone users, but Apple has a laundry list of partners on board in the United States and it is expected to strike similar deals once it launches internationally. It’s enough to have Samsung worrying and considering its own solution for users of Samsung-brand devices.
According to new reports, Samsung is thinking of launching an Apple Pay competitor next year. Recode cites multiple sources that say the company is in talks with LoopPay, a U.S. startup with an iPhone- and Android-compatible solution for mobile payments. LoopPay uses MST or Magnetic Secure Transmission to communicate the information that’s stored on the magnetic strip on the back of your card.
The most cumbersome thing about LoopPay is that it requires a special case, card, or fob to execute a transaction. Recode’s sources say that Samsung’s payment solution would see customers wave their device rather than use the fingerprint sensor on their device, so it looks like we’ll see LoopPay’s solution baked into a Samsung phone as opposed users having to use additional hardware. This matches up with comments LoopPay made to Recode earlier this year about its technology being integrated into a mainstream phone next year and working with NFC as well as its own MST technology.
One of the biggest issues plaguing mobile payments today, certainly in Canada, is one of compatibility. Every device, bank, wireless provider, and even retailer support different combinations of mobile payments solutions. We’ve already talked about the Galaxy S5 being one of the best devices available in terms of compatibility, whether it’s cases or payments solutions. To think that Samsung might soon have a phone that is capable of making a payment at basically any retailer that accepts card swipes at their POS system is extremely exciting.