February 25, 2015

Samsung acquires mobile payment firm LoopPay

In the mobile device industry, keeping up with fellow giants is integral to the success of companies like Samsung. Recently, the company announced the acquisition of LoopPay, a Boston-based startup whose offerings could allow Samsung to keep up with Apple's payment platform, Apple Pay. 

Details of the transaction were not made available, but both companies released statements affirming their satisfaction with the terms, and optimism about their ability to enhance "digital wallet" technology. As customers become more reliant on tech devices for their finance management, more mobile payment methods have proliferated in the marketplace. LoopPay will work primarily with the mobile division of Samsung to bolster its movement toward app-based payment technology. 

Currently, the LoopPay platform is compatible with 90 percent of point of sale terminals on the market. When that technology has been integrated into the Samsung portfolio, more mobile users will be able to approve card-less transactions using their smartphones. 

"Samsung's acquisition of LoopPay signals how serious it is about building and launching a competitive mobile payments system in the United States," eMarketer analyst Bryan Yeager told USA Today. "It also likely gives Samsung exclusive access to LoopPay's technology, which enables mobile payments to be made at merchants who haven't upgraded their point-of-sale technology to support newer contactless payment methods like NFC — of which there are many."

In terms of acquisition strategy, buying smaller firms can save large brands like Samsung years of research and development in emerging tech areas. With rights to the LoopPay platform, Samsung's biggest hurdle moving forward will be integration, of the companies and their technology. As more mobile developers fine-tune payment systems, cell phones and tablets will take on an even more important role in the lives of users.