Samsung buys mobile payment start-up LoopPay

The contactless payment battle between Apple and Samsung is heating up.

Last month we reported on Samsung's efforts to join the contactless payment market, saying it was developing its own system innovatively called Samsung Pay.

However in the most recent turn of events, the media report Samsung has acquired the American start-up company LoopPay.

LoopPay describes itself as “the most accepted mobile wallet on the planet,” and is now owned by the South Korean giants.

CEO of LoopPay, Will Graylin, wrote a message on the company’s website, saying he’s looking forward to working with Samsung to offer the world’s most secure and compelling mobile platform:

“Our vision of inspiring consumers to transition from a physical wallet to a truly digital wallet will continue,” he said.

“I’m most excited that Samsung shares this vision and has chosen to help change how we shop and pay for goods and services.”

President of IT and Mobile division at Samsung, JK Shin, said: “This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce. Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal.”

Ralf Ohlhausen, chief strategy officer at The PPRO Group, has also offered his thoughts: "The introduction of Apple Pay to the iPhone 6 and new iPads in 2014 was set to position Apple as the most powerful force in mobile payments, however with Samsung’s acquisition of US start up LoopPay, we can expect an interesting year for the mobile payment market.

"With both payment methods NFC compatible, it will be interesting to see how Samsung rivals Apple, both of which use fingerprint sensor for authorisation, but currently only Samsung is able to offer retailers the chance to convert their existing magnetic stripe readers into contactless payment receivers.

"Whilst it may be assumed that Samsung will triumph with this additional feature, Apple has been accepted by leading banks and credit cards across the world, leaving Samsung with a challenge to gain the same level of acceptance.

"With only VISA agreeing to work with LoopPay to date it is yet to be seen who will consolidate the market. As we see these payment options enter the UK market, we can expect to see this encourage the whole industry to adapt at a faster rate."

LoopPay will continue to operate as an independent team from Boston, Massachusetts, said Graylin.

As Gigaom recently reported, LoopPay may be a core feature in Samsung’s Galaxy S6 smartphone, expected to be unveiled in Barcelona, ahead of the World Mobile Congress (WMC) on 1 March.

Apple has made a huge boom on the market with its latest smartphone the iPhone 6, the Apple Pay contactless payment system, and the upcoming Apple Watch, and Samsung is doing its best to keep up.