Loop is a new mobile payments startup making some fairly big claims. The company says it has invented a technology that lets you pay with your phone at nearly any point-of-sale across the U.S., without requiring merchants to upgrade their hardware. Nor do you have to own a particular device, like those NFC-based smartphones required for mobile payment services like Google Wallet or Isis.
Instead, consumers can either use a dongle plugged into their smartphone or a special charge case that is simply held close to the magnetic stripe reader the place you swipe your credit card at checkout. Seemingly like magic, the payment processes as if you had swiped your card as usual.If mobile payments were this easy, though, why hadn’t someone launched technology like Loop’s years ago?
The answer has to do with how complicated the payments industry is, as well as the challenge that lies in changing consumer behavior on a broader scale.