LoopPay: An Apple Pay Alternative with More Options


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When Apple first introduced Apple Pay earlier this year, it immediately raised the awareness and acceptance of NFC-enabled, contactless payment services to new heights. In just a few short months, Apple Pay has managed to become the most popular digital wallet service on the market today, even surpassing Google Wallet, which had a three-year head start. Unfortunately, Apple Pay only works with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus at the moment, and doesn’t support all credit cards just yet either. To make matters worse, the service is also not accepted at some high profile retailers such as Target and Walmart, which limits its usefulness to a degree. But an alternative digital payment service called LoopPay promises to deliver safe secure transactions to all smartphone users, no matter which credit cards they use or where they shop.

Advantages of LoopPay

LoopPay has a number of key advantages over Apple Pay, at least in the early stages of its development. For starters, LoopPay supports just about every credit card available, and is accepted at over 10 million retail outlets (compared to Apple Pay’s 220,000) across the U.S. It is also capable of supporting gift cards, customer loyalty cards, and even special private label cards, something that Apple Pay can’t do just yet. But perhaps the most important benefit that LoopPay brings to the table is that it will work with any smartphone that runs iOS or Android, and isn’t just restricted to the iPhone 6 or 6 Plus.

Hardware and Software

How exactly does LoopPay bring its service to more devices, including ones that don’t even have built-in NFC support? The service incorporates both software and hardware into its solution, enabling communication between the smartphone and the payment terminal via one of three specially designed LoopPay devices. Those devices include the LoopPay Card, the LoopPay Fob, and a pair of LoopPay cases. The LoopPay Card is a stand alone unit that can be carried much like a standard credit card, while the LoopPay Fob attaches to your keychain for ease of access. The two cases work with the iPhone 5/5s, as well as the 6/6 Plus, and incorporate the LoopPay hardware directly into their designs.

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These devices work in conjunction with an iOS (or Android) app that stores the credit cards that will be used with any transactions. As with Apple Pay, all credit cards are authenticated when they are first entered into the system, and when the service is used, data is encrypted to prevent it from being stolen. That app can also be locked with a PIN number or password as an extra security measure should the phone be lost or stolen.

Making Payments

Once you are equipped with a LoopPay device, have installed the app, and entered you credit card information, you’ll be all set to start using the service. When checking out at a store, you simply tell the cashier which type of card you want to use, then hold your LoopPay device next to the payment terminal. By pressing the button on the device, your default credit card information is transmitted to the receiver. If you want to use a different card then simply open the LoopPay app on your smartphone first, and tell it which other card you’d prefer to use. The transactions should be quick, easy, and completely safe, with your data well protected from hackers.

LoopPay vs. Apple Pay

As mentioned above, LoopPay does have several advantages over Apple Pay, including the ability to use it with just about any smartphone, and the fact that its hardware is compatible with a wider array of payment terminals. That said, Apple Pay still has a level of convenience that can’t be ignored. For instance, you don’t need to carry a special card or key fob – not to mention a bulky case – to use Apple Pay. It simply already exists on your iPhone 6 or 6 Plus, and will be incorporated into future models as well.

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On top of that, the LoopPay card and cases both need to be charged via USB in order for them to work properly. This adds yet one more item to the list of things you’ll have to remember to charge on a regular basis, which can be annoying to a degree. Since Apple Pay’s NFC functionality is built into the phone, it works as long as your iPhone is charged and functioning.

Those few quibbles aside however, LoopPay does make for an attractive alternative to Apple Pay on devices that don’t have built-in support for the services. It’s hardware and software approach ensure that anyone can set-up and start using a digital wallet in no time, even if they’re still running an older iPhone or Android device. In a time where it it seems that data breaches that expose customer information are becoming more and more common, the attractiveness of these types of service is only increasing. LoopPay may not have the exposure of Apple Pay or Google Wallet, but it certainly can deliver on the same promise of safe, secure transactions in millions of retail outlets.

Also Read:

How Apple Pay Will Work and How it Will Change Your Life

How Apple Made Me a Convert to Large Screened Phones

 

 


Kraig Becker

Kraig Becker is a freelance writer based out of Nashville, TN. His two passions are technology and travel, which are also the two things he most likes to write about. An avid Apple fan, he bought his first Mac back in 1990, and has and has been using the company's computers, and other devices, ever since.

4 Comments

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  1. If you have to reach and pull out an object and make some manual gesture, why not just pull out and swipe an actual card? The advantage ergonomically of using a phone for near field wireless payments is already negligible, at best, with a streamlined system like Apple’s. This one is no easier, and is in fact in some ways more difficult, than simply using real credit cards to make retail payments

    Pass..

  2. Nope – not going to make it

    1)no security – just standard mag swipe equivalent- already being phased out in the US – and phased out EVERYWHERE else in the rest of the world.
    2)More devices to charge – I’m already carrying a phone
    3)no fingerprint system. Someone with access ( ex spouse, mad kid, etc)can rack up a fortune in small purchases.
    4)All those merchants still get access to all of that demographic customer info. Not with Apple
    5)WalMart, etc al: can still use my credit card, and after their private credit card fiasco- along with Target and Home Depot, they’ll be Apple Pay real soon.
    6)Only with iPhone 6 or higher? – of course NOBODY will ever buy a new phone .
    iPhone 7 is due out in 9 months. In North America, 51% are iPhones. NOBODY will upgrade, or upgrade in 9 months /s

  3. Thanks. i had heard how Samsung intended to go with LoopPay to get a quick jump over Apple’s Apple Pay. I don’t think I’d want to be bothered carrying extra devices around to use it though. Apple’s simpler approach is going to be better for users down the road as more Apple devices get NFC. It’s said that AppleWatch is going to come with NFC and transactions made with the AppleWatch wont require having an iPhone 6 but will most likely require an iPhone with a Secure Enclave chip.

    I totally understand why Samsung would go with this available payment system and it should be seen as an alternative. There’s no reason why only one mobile payment method has to be used. If a method has been around and for the most part works well, then use it. Apple is looking forward long-term to slowly build out its mobile system into every device whereas Samsung is looking for a quick-start shortcut. It’s simply two different approaches. Apple doesn’t need to hurry. Apple Pay will build out based on loyal Apple device users and that’s more than enough for Apple to handle. Apple has decided to look forward, not backwards. Only time will tell which method consumers will prefer. I’m only guessing they’ll go with the simplest method.

    1. I agree that Apple’s long-term plan is going to be a better one. I wouldn’t want to carry an extra device around either, let alone have to remember to recharge it. This is an interesting option for those who want to start using contactless payments now, but in the long run I think Apple Pay will be the real winner.