With Samsung Acquiring LoopPay, What’s In Store for Apple Pay?

As Apple Pay continues to gain ground with many mobile wallet users—according to CNBC, transactions using Apple Pay account for 80 percent of the mobile wallet transactions at Panera—it’s not surprising that Samsung has decided to get in the game, joining other competitors like Google Wallet.

Samsung originally invested in LoopPay last year, according to an interview with LoopPay’s CEO, Will Graylin, in USA Today. The acquisition of LoopPay by Samsung was announced this week.

Can LoopPay really be an mWallet competitor? What does it have that Apple Pay does not?

The truth is that right now, we’re not sure.

The current iteration of Apple Pay only works with something called Near Field Communications, or NFC. The merchant has to accept NFC transactions, or there’s no way to pay with your phone. LoopPay, on the other hand, was developed as add-on technology—it originally surfaced as an iPhone case—and works with any magnetic credit card machine, making it more universally accepted.

WalMart needs to “wake up and smell the #applepay” – @jimcramer, on @CNBC $WMT

— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) February 20, 2015

Lips have been firmly sealed, however, to any information about how Samsung will use LoopPay’s technology in the future. Will they incorporate the tech into their next flagship phone—Inquisitr expects that the Samsung Galaxy 6 will be announced March 1—or will it continue to be some kind of case or dongle? Will it use a fingerprint sensor like Apple Pay does? We’ll have to wait and see.

It may not be convenience or security that’s the real barrier to making an mWallet like Apple Pay the next big technology revolution. As Robert Hof writes in Forbes, most people can’t figure out why they should put all their credit card information in their phones.

“What consumers want more than anything else in Apple Pay or Google Wallet is to store loyalty program points and rewards, coupons, and other special offers.”

Hof suggests that Apple Pay, or any of its hopeful competitors, should look to apps like the Starbucks mobile payment app, which allows customers to pay with their phones, but mostly focus on storing and offering coupons and offers for the customer. Hof also suggests that an mWallet system could be an advertising system for companies.

After all, Graylin told USA Today that the real competitor for a system like LoopPay wasn’t Apple Pay or Google Wallet, but the consumer’s existing wallet, and their current habits. To get the consumer to adopt, they’ll need to make LoopPay, ApplePay, and any other mWallet systems, more convenient than anything the customer already has in their pocket.

[Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]