With the rise of both Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, it feels like if you fancy yourself a serious smartphone manufacturer these days, you’re expected to offer users a bespoke mobile payment system. Last fall we heard that LG could be the next company to introduce something along those lines, with word that the so-called G Pay could be nearly ready to debut. But unlike Apple’s pure-NFC system or Samsung’s that uses NFC in concert with magstripe emulation (while keeping all the hardware on your phone), this LG system might just require the use of its own physical payment card. But how exactly would that work? Details are finally incoming, as a leak outs the LG Pay “White Card.”
What we’ve got is a card that sounds a lot like Coin, using a “smart” credit card to store data from multiple accounts and letting users choose how their transactions are billed. We can also see from the branding on it that the company appears to be dropping the G and going with the simpler LG Pay name.
Interestingly, accounts of this White Card describe it as not involving any LG back end – payments are processed seamlessly as if conducted with their original physical card, leaving LG itself out of the process. Presumably, LG would simply offer this hardware and let users add their own cards.
That makes the value proposition a little harder to convey here: if you juggle a lot of cards, there might be a point to such hardware, but like we mentioned, similar devices already exist and it’s unclear what extra benefit LG could provide.
While you can see smartcard contacts in this image here, those won’t be functional initially, constraining users to magstripe-based transaction.
Reportedly, LG will come to MWC ready to show off LG Pay, so full details shouldn’t be far behind.