Mobile payment is a hot topic nowadays, especially since Google’s Wallet payment system from 2010 hadn’t caught on much until Apple launched Apple Pay, which has prompted the growth of the digital wallet and its popularity. Because it’s CES and companies want to let everyone that they have a solution for your digital wallet-ing needs, meet LoopPay. And LoopPay, meet XPAL Power and Trident Case. These three names are likely going to be on your radar a little more regularly if you have an Android device but don’t necessarily want or use Google Wallet, or want to use your digital wallet at more than every tenth store. Let’s explain this one.
First, LoopPay is a company whose patented digital payment technology, which remembers the user’s cards’ magnetic strips and sends them wirelessly to pre-existing payment terminals in secure and tokenized transactions. Why has LoopPay’s name come up today though? Two reasons, folks: acceptance and partnerships.
LoopPay has become, by numbers, the most widely-accepted digital wallet solution globally, not just within the United States, and also is greatly accepted by the technology itself: the payment terminals. The place you swipe your card to pay, the ‘center of the hassle with real wallets’ if you’d like to call it that and chuckle, works with LoopPay’s patented Magnetic Secure Transmission, or MST for short, to send the information that a swipe would normally carry, with no card physically needed. The company’s current cases hold promise on their own, but that’s where the second part comes in. Partnerships.
LoopPay has announced today that they have partnered with two new OEMs, original equipment manufacturers, to have them embed LoopPay’s chips and technology into their cases. But whose wallet-like and card-storing cases made the cut? That would be XPAL Power and Trident Case. XPAL Power might be known to you as PowerSkin, because that’s one of the companies they own and operate, and the likely choice for MST embedding. And then there’s Trident Case, who make cases, specifically the Aegis Wallet series, which offer card storage in the back of the case, for pocket-based convenience.
And second, from before the company descriptions, this means great things for customers and companies alike, as well as possible trouble for other options. Primarily, the new kid on the block, the iPhones 6 and 6 Plus which feature Apple Pay, also have cases on the way or already online to purchase by LoopPay, so it’s obvious they want to offer the solution everywhere they can. But here’s where it gets tricky, and that’s the future and plans of the three companies. iPhones have long been the target, since they had no NFC or stock feature of comparison, and Android had the upper hand but no adoption by merchants. Now, with the Apply Pay wagon rolling for two phones, leaving behind a possible three more (if you were to count users of 5Ses, 5s, and 4Ses) years of iPhones that can now have a chance to use wireless payment as it was probably meant to be.
And then the spotlight falls to Android. Android has had NFC since the days of the Nexus S, back in 2010 and the days of Gingerbread, Android 2.3, and every device that has any plans to succeed has NFC (phones only, because tablets don’t need it really, do they?) built into it in some way or another. Many opt for the chip on the board while others prefer to have the technology built into the battery, specifically Samsung. And that’s the part of the equation that we will have to sit tight to see unfold: Samsung Galaxy phones run Android, which can use Google Wallet, or Samsung’s own Wallet app and service, or even a carrier-partnered service like SoftCard (the service previously known as Isis). Why would the user then spend more money than they would on a case to gain a redundant feature? We don’t know, but the obvious answer at the moment is choice and freedom, so you don’t have to use one or the other.
Regardless, it will be good to see wireless payment technology spread more and into more manufacturers’ products. And it should be especially good for users having another option that might be more appealing than trusting Apple, Samsung, Google, or SoftCard with their credit card information. Which service do you think will, or should, ultimately win out once these new cases come to market (even though the Galaxy S5 will likely be eclipsed by the upcoming S6, and XPAL Power are going to start working on a new S5 case soon…) and specifically why? Which case makers should LoopPay work to partner with next, to bring their technology to even more customers? Let us know below.