While Apple is reportedly working hard on its own mobile payment service, Boston-based startup Loop has just released its own mobile payments device -- one that works at most traditional U.S. retail outlets. The Loop Fob is a small device that allows users to store credit card information on the iPhone, and then wirelessly pay at any traditional magnetic stripe reader.

LoopFob
It uses "Magnetic Secure Transmission" to create a small magnetic field via an inductive loop. That magnetic field is detected by the read head of a traditional swipe credit card reader, fooling the device into thinking a normal credit card has been swiped. As a result, the device allows any credit card to be digitally stored in an iPhone and used as needed. It's a direct competitor to the Coin prototype electronic credit card that attracted attention last year, only it's been released to the world already. Loop recently took a $10 million funding round based on the success of its Loop Fob Kickstarter campaign.

The Loop Fob can be used while attached to the iPhone, or it can store a single card and be used separately at restaurants and bars. The company says payment data is encrypted and stored on the Loop Fob device, and no credit card info is ever stored on the iPhone.

loop
Loop also has a dedicated $99 iPhone case in the works which will be released later this year. It will allow Loop owners to make touchless credit card payments without needing a separate hardware device. All the necessary technology will be built into the iPhone case. The fob will still be used to read credit cards for storage, however.

With its patented technology, payment card data is encrypted and stored in dedicated hardware secure memory, within the Loop Fob or any Loop enabled device. Partnering with payment card issuers, Loop’s technology can also generate dynamic card data every time a payment is made, making such data unusable for those trying to clone a card. Its contactless chip does not wear out and fits into virtually any form factor that consumers want to carry – from smartphones to fobs, to charge cases, to smart watches, the possibilities are limitless.


The LoopWallet app can be downloaded from the App Store, while the Loop Fob adapter can be purchased for $39. The $99 Loop iPhone case will be released later this year.

Top Rated Comments

KdParker Avatar
115 months ago
Seems like a waste of time to add an adapter then swipe my phone.

I could just as quickly (if not faster) used the actual credit card.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Drumjim85 Avatar
115 months ago
Also, all of these payment companies, coin included, will be dead next year when the US moves to Chip-and-Pin cards.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KdParker Avatar
115 months ago
I think the point is that you don't have to carry a wallet full of credits with you.....

Right, so you carry some platic tab in your pocket/then tell app which card to use?

How is this more convenient?
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
sulpfiction Avatar
115 months ago
Yeah, I want to carry a fob around in my pocket, then plug it into my phone when I want to buy something. Stupid!

Quicker to pull out my debit card.

----------

I think the point is that you don't have to carry a wallet full of credits with you.....

But this product isn't going to make me stop carrying a wallet..which contains my credit cards. The fob is just another thing to worry about it my pocket. This product just screams epic failure.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Drumjim85 Avatar
115 months ago
1. Loop is working with Gas and ATM vendors. Gas stations do have normal POS inside that will work with your Loop.
2. Many restaurants are now using the remote pay terminals that waitpeople carry around. Even the pizza delivery guy carries a POS with him.
3. Loop is working and testing each day to get closer to that 100%.

You obviously work for them, so tell me what happens when the whole industry move to Chip and Pin next year.
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
baryon Avatar
115 months ago
This just shows how not secure the old swipe method is: anyone with access to your card can "copy" it and then use it whenever and wherever they want, since no PIN in required to use it!
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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