Image via LoopPay
Image via LoopPay

It’s the kind of acquisition startup dreams are made of. LoopPay, a digital wallet solution founded in 2012, was acquired this week by Samsung as the tech giant moves toward a mobile payment technology  that will compete directly with Apple’s Apple Pay.

Although rival companies such as Apple, Google and eBay have already launched their own mobile payment products, uptake of the technology has been low due in large part to the software and hardware upgrades that retailers are required to make for the technology to work. Given the infrastructural setbacks of existing products, the hunt is still on for a simpler, faster and cheaper solution. Considering that LoopPay already works with 90 percent of existing payment readers, it looks like Samsung has found an advantageous “loophole” with LoopPay.

How it Works

LoopPay cofounders Will Graylin and George Wallner have created an innovative technology that transmits the same magnetic signal that a mag stripe would transmit to a card reader, only LoopPay achieves this wirelessly and equally efficiently. Check out this explainer video for more info on how it works:

Implications for Commercial Air Travel

Although some airlines have taken action to adapt to mobile payment technology, such as New York-based carrier JetBlue, who now support Apple Pay mobile for in-flight purchases, many airlines are still looking for a cost-effective solution to the transaction liability shift, effective October 2015.

But why is everyone buzzing about LoopPay technology versus Apple Pay? Not only is LoopPay technology merchant-ready with 90 percent of the card readers out there, the technology can be used from dozens of devices (compared to Apple Pay’s five) allowing for a much broader passenger audience to take advantage of the service.

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There is no confirmation whether or not Samsung has embedded the technology in their Galaxy S6, launching March 1st, but you can bet LoopPay will be integrated in their future mobile products, and the acquisition will only make this process more efficient.

Look out for “Smart Card,” our feature on in-flight payment technologies, in APEX Experience’s upcoming Technology Issue.