February 23, 2015 12:01
Samsung has acquired U.S.-based start-up LoopPay to get a foothold in the mobile payment market.
Rival Apple already unveiled its own mobile payment service Apple Pay in October along with the iPhone 6. LoopPay, founded in 2012, owns the patent for Magnetic Secure Transmission technology, which enables smartphones to be used as credit cards.
LoopPay's strength is that its MST technology is compatible with some 90 percent of the payment terminals presently in use. Apple Pay by contrast uses fingerprint recognition and NFC technology that require dedicated terminals, so only around 10 percent of stores in the U.S. accept it.
Samsung already had a stake in LoopPay, and industry watchers say it has once again taken the step of being a "fast follower" of Apple's cutting-edge innovations.
LoopPay's founder and top management will stay on.
The first Samsung phone to be equipped with LoopPay will be the Galaxy S6, to be unveiled in Barcelona, Spain next month. At present, users need to install a US$60 device to use it.
Mobile payment are expected to spread in Korea as Samsung forges alliances with credit card companies and banks here.
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