Mobile phone giant Samsung has acquired mobile payments startup LoopPay in what is being billed as a challenge to Apple’s fledgling mobile payments business.
Samsung is expected to present the acquistion when it launches its next smartphone in March 2015.
Samsung’s mobile boss JK Shin confirmed the deal. "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," he said.
No details of the acquisition cost were revealed.
Apple’s mobile payments service, Apple Pay, was launched in the US in October 2014 and was responsible for 1% of digital payments in the US in November 2014, according to the ITG Mobile Payments report.
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Apple Pay allows iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus users to pay for goods and services using a combination of the firm's mobile wallet and fingerprint authentication technologies.
Following its initial success, Apple CEO Tim Cook said 2015 will be the year of mobile payments.
Some 33% of Brits think more payments in the UK will be made using smartphones than on credit or debit cards by 2020, according to the recent Banking Moving Forward study by Experian.
Only security fears are holding smartphones back from being the main payment method. The research revealed 67% of the 2,000 UK adults questioned thought cash would decrease in popularity and 41% predicted a decline in the use of credit and debit cards.
The research also showed the main reason smartphone payments are not already the preferred method of payment is a fear of fraud. Almost half (46%) of the respondents said they fear their identity may be stolen online and 60% have no malware protection on their devices.
Mobile is the most dominant form of banking in the world and is enabling competitors to eat into banks' business without being noticed, according to a massive study of 80,000 people.
The research from Bain & Company showed mobile accounted for about a third of transactions in 13 out of the 22 countries surveyed. The study also revealed that banking using a mobile is taking over online banking via a computer, which decreased by 3% in 2013.