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Loop is the first mobile wallet to let you securely store all your cards in your phone and let you pay at more than 90% of retailers.
Why is that a big deal? Because for the first time, you can use your smartphone to better organize and use the cards in your wallet, and to better interact with the card issuers and merchants you do business with. Loop is all about making your life easier, keeping your cards more protected, and helping you look and feel like the trendsetter you are.
Here are our first two products….
The Loop Fob is a small audio jack device with a built-in card reader to safely stores your cards encrypted into a secure memory module. A microprocessor and a magnetic induction loop within the Fob allows you to transmit your card data to just about any merchant card reader. The Loop Fob is compatible with both iOS and Android devices (iOS app will be ready by December for download, the Andriod app will be available in the first quarter of 2014). The Loop Fob is capable of transmitting your card data while attached to your phone or can be easily used in detached mode in restaurant or bar settings.
The Loop ChargeCase is a sleek, protective case that provides you with a secure wallet that you can use, but also delivers up to 60% more battery power for your iPhone 5 and 5s when you need it. The ChargeCase comes with an audio jack mag stripe reader to swipe in all of your mag stripe cards into the Loop device.
The People Behind Loop:
Our founders, Will and George, are a couple of entrepreneur geeks trying to make our own little dent in the universe. George pioneered the mag stripe credit card reader in the 80’s, took his company Hypercom public, and revolutionized the way we pay. Will created the first company to turn mobile phones into payment terminals with Way Systems and he built ROAM Data with the same spirit of ingenuity. Now, the two have teamed up to solve the biggest challenge facing mobile payments today: how to turn your phone into a wallet that works, for any consumer, “right now”. Loop is the first company that has solved this enormous challenge and now we need your backing to help us put this innovation in your hands so you can go from a big fat wallet or pocketbook, to the convenience of carrying only your phone (and some cash if you’re feel old fashioned!)
The Problem and the Breakthrough:
So why hasn’t anyone solved this problem yet? It’s because getting a phone to talk with the tens of millions of credit card readers has never been done before. Big companies have spent millions of dollars creating new mobile transmission technologies that require expensive changes to each credit card reader, costing every store hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Store owners have no incentive to change their systems to accept new technologies that few consumers are using, and consumers are not going to adopt a solution that they can’t use where they shop every day. So no merchant adoption equals no consumer adoption — it’s a deadlock.
Until…one day George and Will were discussing the problems with new mobile wallet technologies like Near Field Communication, and George had the idea of using the reliable and faithful “mag stripe reader”, the one that every credit card reader already has. The idea was to treat the mag stripe reader as a receiver to accept transmissions from a phone or accessory using a magnetic induction loop. At the time, no one in the industry thought this was possible. Through lots of trial and error in his lab, George was able to make the first contactless mag stripe transmission work in December of 2012 and dubbed it Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). Will then recruited a team of really smart veterans from MIT and around the world and everyone got cracking. The Loop team made our first successful consumer transaction at Beacon Grill in Woburn, MA in March of this year.
Will was ecstatic, as he had been working on mobile payments for a decade, and this was a true breakthrough. The two immediately filed patents and got to work figuring out how to leverage this new technology to create a convenient and secure mobile wallet solution for consumers. Nearly a year later, after proof of concept, we’re close to bringing our first products to market.