CES 2015: What LoopPay Has in Store For Us

January 9, 2015         By: Steven Anderson

One absolutely terrific thing about the Consumer Electronics Show is that there is, nine times out of 10, a little something for just about anyone.

Home theater buffs, home decorators, car buffs, even video gamers get a little something exciting out of the big show.

But those who follow the mobile payments industry, like us, get a little here too, and LoopPay was one company showing off some of its best at the big event. LoopPay’s plans for the future, meanwhile, are even more impressive.

LoopPay, for those not familiar, is a comparatively simple wire loop which, when a current is run through it, can produce a magnetic field. Junior high science for some, perhaps, but it only gets more interesting from there.

In this case, the right magnetic field can communicate with a standard credit card reader, and that means that LoopPay’s little coil of wire can actually make the bridge that was once only able to be accomplished via a credit card. With LoopPay, users can load credit card information into an accessory, and use that information—routed through that coil of wire—to make purchases from several platforms. Mobile devices, laptop or other device dongles, even keychain fobs could play host to LoopPay’s simple wire construction.

Not so long ago, LoopPay put together a simple iPhone 6 case, and reports suggest new cases will be out in the near future that can handle the LoopPay system.

But some of the latest word suggests that LoopPay is also in the process of being installed directly into devices, thus allowing device makers to offer up an alternative to Apple Pay that’s particularly noteworthy. LoopPay works with all normal credit card readers, while Apple Pay will only work with near-field communication-equipped point of sale systems.

That’s a big step, and LoopPay CEO Will Graylin at CES said that LoopPay would likely be added to a smartphone by the end of this year, and it was likely to be sooner rather than later.

Graylin wouldn’t comment, however, on rumors that the first such LoopPay connection would be with the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S6.

The interesting thing about this particular report is that it comes at the confluence of several other reports. While this is indeed a huge step, and a step that could destabilize Apple Pay’s nascent momentum, it also comes at a time when Apple Pay may have a particular edge.

However, LoopPay in general should be cause for concern for Apple Pay, particularly as LoopPay can work with Apple devices as readily as it can work with Samsung or any other smartphone.

The huge growth of Android devices, particularly in developing markets where mobile payments are being especially courted, could mean some serious issues afoot in the mobile payments market. There’s plenty going on here that could shake up the (still developing) market as we know it.