Mobile payments are damn tricky. Between issues with compatible phone hardware, retailer POS systems, and payment processors, it can be amazing that solutions like Apple Pay and Google Wallet work as well as they do. Back in December we heard a rumor that Samsung could be looking into entering the mobile payment game for itself, and doing so in a way that could give it a big advantage over its competition. Today those rumors go official, as Samsung announces its acquisition of LoopPay.
What’s so special about LoopPay? Unlike NFC-based smartphone payment systems that only work with modern POS terminals (and only then when stores don’t intentionally cripple them), LoopPay’s technology emulates the magnetic flux generated when you swipe a regular magstripe credit card. That has the potential to let it operate in an unprecedented number of stores.
We already knew that LoopPay was planning to get its system into a smartphone from a major player sometime this year, and confirmation of this deal only seems to reinforce the idea that Samsung will be the company to deliver the handset. At this point, it may be too late to get the tech into the Galaxy S6 (although we don’t know just how long this deal has been in the works), but at some point in the not-too-distant future we could see Samsung deliver a phone that quickly emerges as king of the mobile payment mountain.