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Samsung Developing Apple Pay Fighter with LoopPay

There are a lot of people out there who say Samsung does nothing but follow in Apple’s footsteps and copy everything that the iCompany does, at least on the mobile front. I’ll leave that discussion for another day, but when we hear that Samsung wants to develop its own touchless tap-to-pay mobile payment system that effectively works the same way as Apple Pay, we’ve got to wonder what Samsung is thinking.

It has now been reported that Samsung has acquired LoopPay, a mobile payments firm that will help Samsung “strengthen the company’s overall efforts to provide users with seamless, safe, and reliable mobile wallet solutions.” I say that this is curious for a few reasons.

Apple Pay certainly wasn’t the first mobile payment solution on the market. Android has had the whole Google Wallet thing going on for a while, even if it didn’t get the same kind of mainstream attention that Apple Pay did. And even if Samsung wants to keep pushing Tizen along, Android is still their mobile bread and butter. It could be a waste of time, money and resources to reinvent the wheel. Remember Samsung Apps and ChatOn? Yeah. That.

To be fair, the LoopPay system is unique in that it doesn’t require merchants to have an NFC-enabled reader. Instead, it’s a magnet that can mimic the magnetic stripe on your credit card such that it’ll get picked up by a regular credit card swipe-based reader at the cash register. And that’s kind of neat, if it were not for the whole chip-and-PIN thing.

All this being said, a “non-contact payment infrastructure” is in development in Samsung’s home turf of Korea. By the sounds of things, the “PayOn” system could be closer in scope to MasterCard PayPass or Visa payWave, but that’s the kind of infrastructure that Apple Pay taps into (terrible pun intended) in the first place. Did Samsung acquire LoopPay to get in on this action too? After all, Samsung does seem to have its digital hands in just about everything to do with South Korean business.

In any case, we could be seeing the first official information about Samsung’s tap-happy mobile payment solution at the same time as the unveiling of the Galaxy S6 next month. Between Qi charging and NFC-based payments, Samsung is going wireless all around.

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