Have you made paid for something in a store using your smartphone? Whether you’re taking advantage ofGoogle Wallet or Apple Pay, there are now more ways than ever before to use your smartphone to share payment data with a retailer. With the mobile payment market only expected to expand, everyone wants a piece of the action, and a new rumor claims that Samsung is interested in bringing such a service to its phones (well, beyond the existing Google Wallet support) in the near future. What makes this so interesting, though, and more than just a “me too” copycat action, is the broadly compatible tech that looks like it could be behind this Samsung effort.
The key is a company called LoopPay, from which Samsung is rumored to license the technology that would power this mobile payment system. While it would support NFC-based payments, just like Apple Pay and Google Wallet, future Samsung phones with this LoopPay hardware would be able to directly communicate with non-NFC-equipped credit card terminals, using magnetic induction to mimic the physical swipe of a card – you just hold it up to the terminal, and as far as the POS system knows, you’re sliding a real card through.
That’s huge for compatibility, and has the potential to side-step some of the issues we saw earlier this year when retailers disabled their NFC payment terminals out of loyalty for competing systems.
While neither Samsung nor LoopPay have confirmed plans to work together, LoopPay has stated that it plans to have its system in a major smartphone sometime next year. Sources suggest that this Samsung model featuring LoopPay could launch sometime in the first half of 2015.