In buying LoopPay, Samsung is hoping to counter Apple’s jump into mobile payments. Instead, Samsung may have just acquired a white elephant, mobile payment technology that could become obsolete almost immediately.
LoopPay looked attractive to Samsung because its technology doesn’t require merchants to have the same specialized chip readers needed to accept Apple Pay or Google Wallet. Instead, LoopPay works with any standard “swipe”-style credit card terminal. Its secret: a loop of copper that, when energized, can emit a pulse that fools the magnetic stripe reader in most credit card terminals into thinking it’s a credit card.
Right now the loop is an accessory that comes in either a key fob or a phone case, but LoopPay and Samsung have said they intend to build it into a handset eventually. It’s unclear how the technology will relate to Samsung’s existing digital wallet.