In December we posted a report titled "Confused Samsung Looking for an Apple Pay Equivalent." We noted in that report that copycat Samsung was racing to integrate PayPal into their next Gear smartwatch so that they could match the Apple Watch's use of Apple Pay. A new rumor at that time claimed that Samsung was discussing a possible deal with a payments startup called LoopPay. Today, Samsung has announced that they've acquired LoopPay as the announcement below illustrates and confirms.
JK Shin, President and Head of IT and Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics stated today that "This acquisition accelerates our vision to drive and lead innovation in the world of mobile commerce. Our goal has always been to build the smartest, most secure, user-friendly mobile wallet experience, and we are delighted to welcome LoopPay to take us closer to this goal."
This was bound to happen prior to or during the upcoming Mobile World Congress event March 2-5. Samsung is to pre-empt the show by holding their Galaxy S6 event on Sunday March first. So having this acquisition announced today now gives Samsung momentum going into their special event.
Yesterday Barron's published an article titled "Apple Pay Overshadows Mobile World Congress." Today, that's not going to be the case.
Additionally, Sundar Pichai, the head of Google's Android, Chrome and Apps, in a "special Mobile World Live Extra session" and Visa are hosting a seminar on Android at the Mobile World Congress.
In January we posted a report titled "Retailer: Apple Pay used 5 Times more than Competing Softcard." Yesterday Barron's noted that Google had reportedly invested in or acquired Softcard, a struggling mobile wallet joint venture led by the carriers. Conversations between Google and Square have reportedly escalated.
Another big move that might be announced at MWC is that Google may announce their intention to become a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) working with T-Mobile and Sprint.
With momentum for Apple Pay accelerating and even getting a boost from the Federal Government during last week's Cybersecurity Summit, Samsung had to make waves and they did today by acquiring LoopPay.