As Apple Pay Lines Up More Banks, Samsung Preps Rival Service

The Apple Pay mobile payments service was announced alongside new iPhones back in September, and officially launched the following month. Apple Pay kicked off with support for Visa, MasterCard, and American Express credit cards and has partnered with a number of financial institutions including Bank of America, CapitalOne, Chase, Citi, and Wells Fargo.

Apple this week announced that it has signed up dozens of new financial institutions including Barclaycard, USAA, SunTrust, and TD Bank North America. All total, Apple Pay will support credit cards from issuing banks that encompass 90 percent of all credit card transactions conducted within the United States.

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As the number one smartphone OEM in the world (by far) and the second largest OEM in the United States behind Apple, Samsung is looking to introduce its own mobile payments service following a rocky road with Google Wallet. According to Re/code, the payments system will be similar in concept to Apple Pay – by allowing customers to make secure, wireless payments -- and will launch in 2015.

Samsung is reportedly teaming up with a Burlington, MA-based startup firm called LoopPay. Whereas solutions from Google (Google Wallet) and Apple (Apple Pay) require retailers to upgrade their cash registers to support wireless NFC payments, LoopPay’s solution works with existing magnetic stripe readers that are already build into the millions of cash registers in service around the country. Using what the company calls “magnetic secure transmission”, users can simply tap a LoopPay fob near the cash register’s card reader to mimic a card swipe.

Samsung’s talks with LoopPay would likely revolve around licensing the technology to implement directly into future smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches.

Representatives for Samsung and LoopPay declined to comment for Re/code’s story, although LoopPay CEO said earlier this month that his company would see “massive penetration” in 2015 thanks to a partnership with a mainstream smartphone manufacturer.