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EXCLUSIVE: Did Apple Just Miss The M&A Deal Of A Lifetime?


Coin and other mobile payment startups get all the media attention, but SAMSUNG ELECT LTD(F) (OTCMKTS: SSNLF) just acquired the one few others were watching: LoopPay.

Started by industry veterans Will Graylin and George Wallner, LoopPay is the only card-free mobile payment solution that works at approximately 90 percent of existing POS (point-of-sale) terminals. This amounts to 10 million terminals versus just 220,000 merchants for Apple Pay.

"This is the first major breakthrough," Graylin told Benzinga. "Embedding this into a device is going to be a major focus for us."

Beyond that statement, Graylin would not confirm or deny that LoopPay will be embedded into a future Samsung device.

"From a product standpoint, I can't discuss the actual product direction," he said. "That we'll have to save for another day."

However, a previous rumor claimed that Samsung was already planning to add LoopPay technology to the Galaxy S6.

Related Link: EXCLUSIVE: LoopPay CEO Talks Samsung Acquisition, Apple Pay

Was Apple Asleep At The Wheel?

Given the advantage Samsung could have in acquiring LoopPay, investors may wonder: were Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Google Inc (NASDAQ: GOOG) asleep at the wheel?

"Apple might have missed an opportunity," Cody Willard, chairman of Scutify (a financial social network), told Benzinga. "But I think Apple Pay is a juggernaut that won't be stopped. They don't need to do anything different."

Tech industry expert and analyst Jeff Kagan told Benzinga that he doesn't think Apple or Google were asleep at the wheel. "I think the other companies think, in their mind, that they're going to develop the technology and it doesn't matter who's in the lead at this early stage," said Kagan.

"Once their brand is on the technology, they [assume they] will win."

Kagan also said that while many companies acquire ideas because they don't have any of their own, Apple already had an idea with Apple Pay. However, that idea was partially fostered with technology it acquired two years ago.

LoopPay Vs. Apple Pay? No - It's LoopPay Vs. Habit

Graylin isn't worried about his competitors. He's more concerned about consumers' everyday habits. 

"Your competition is not each other," said Graylin. "Your competition is your consumer's own wallet. If [a payment solution] only functions at a fraction of merchants, there's no way you're replacing your wallet. And it's hard to change habits."

Graylin said that LoopPay helps consumers "get over that major acceptance gap hurdle."

"This is still the first inning," he said. "We're really very early in this game. Our goal is still very much to really transform the consumer's digital wallet experience and create commerce experiences that are much better than what it used to be or what it is today."

Disclosure: At the time of this writing, Louis Bedigian had no position in the equities mentioned in this report.

Posted-In: Apple Apple Pay George Wallner LoopPay SamsungExclusives Tech Interview


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