SEOUL: Samsung has built LoopPay into the S6 as part of a mobile payment system called Samsung Pay. This step could give Samsung a badly needed boost in its bitter rivalry with Apple Inc.’s iPhone.
Samsung introduced the Galaxy S6 and Galaxy S6 Edge phones at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. The phones are expected to be available worldwide on April 10.
Samsung acquired LoopPay in February for an undisclosed amount, but a LoopPay spokeswoman said the two companies have been working together for months to integrate the LoopPay service into Samsung’s new phones.
Apple’s hugely successful iPhone 6 features Apple Pay, a system that uses a built-in chip to let users make credit card payments by tapping the phone against a payment terminal.
Nearly all retailers use terminals that read the magnetic strip on the back of a credit card. Only a few hundred thousand of America’s 3.8 million merchants have terminals that are compatible with Apple Pay.
LoopPay’s system transmits card data to the magnetic strip reader inside traditional payment terminals. The company estimates that LoopPay is compatible with about 90 percent of US retail terminals.
Samsung has built LoopPay into the S6 as part of a mobile payment system called Samsung Pay. The new phone will also include a chip-based payment system that will work in much the same way as Apple Pay does, as well as a fingerprint scanner to ensure only the phone’s owner can use it.
Major financial companies have agreed to support Samsung Pay, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express, JPMorgan Chase, and Bank of America.
Samsung Pay will begin operation sometime this summer.
By offering a mobile payment system that will work in far more locations than Apple Pay currently does, Samsung hopes to push back against the spectacular success of the iPhone 6. Sales of last year’s Galaxy S5 fell far short of expectations. Meanwhile, in the quarter that ended in December, Apple generated the highest quarterly profit ever earned by a corporation, largely due to iPhone sales.