Samsung is buying mobile payments company LoopPay, which lets people pay for goods using their phones instead of their credit cards. Unlike Apple’s payments solution Apple Pay, which requires near-field communication (NFC) pads to work, LoopPay works with traditional magnetic credit card readers. The technology is supposedly compatible with 90% of all point-of-sale terminals. This could help sales of Samsung’s next smartphones, especially in the U.S. where traditional credit card readers are still widely used.
Based on comScore data charted for us by BI Intelligence, Samsung had a 30% share of the U.S. smartphone vendor market as of December, but Apple was ahead with 35% share. Those numbers haven’t really shifted in the last couple years.
One of the biggest new reasons to buy an iPhone 6 is to use Apple Pay. Having a payment system that’s useful in more places could help Samsung blunt that advantage. LoopPay’s technology is currently embedded in separate physical phone cases, but LoopPay’s CEO confirmed to Business Insider that LoopPay would be integrated in a major new smartphone in 2015, and we’re assuming that Samsung’s Galaxy S6 will be the one. We’ll know for sure on March 1 when the phone is unveiled.