Loop Fob makes swipeless credit card payment via iOS possible

By , Feb 19, 2014

Loop Fob (image 003)

Originally a Kickstarter campaign, Loop’s mobile payments device, the Fob, is now available for purchase online at the Loop webstore. The $39 adapter has a contactless chip inside and uses patented technology to encrypt your credit card information on a secure memory module. By storing all of your credit cards, the Fob lets you make payments at virtually any terminal in the U.S.

The Boston-based startup has partnered with a bunch of retailers and credit card issuers to make the solution play nice with virtually all of major points of sale in the United States. In addition to the $39 adapter, Loop will also introduce a $99 Loop ChargeCase later this year…

In a nutshell, Loop’s solution works by generating a magnetic field that registers as a swipe at credit card terminals.

GigaOm‘s Kevin Fitchard took the Fob for a spin, observing:

Where I used Loop, the experience was surprisingly seamless. When you’re ready to pay you press a button on the fob and then tap or wave the device near the magnetic strip reader on the point-of-sale terminal. The terminal behaves exactly as if you swiped plastic.

Using a free app, Loop’s Fob and ChargingCase can securely store your credit and debit cards, gift cards, loyalty and rewards cards,
 membership coupons, ID Cards and more.

All data is stored in a secure memory on the device and never makes it into your iPhone.

The ChargeCase encrypts, stores and transmits the information you need to make a payment at the POS. The App is your window into what is stored in the ChargeCase and allows you to manage everything you need to get through the day.

Loop claims that all of your data gets “encrypted and tokenized”. As an added layer of security, users are required to input a pin every time a payment is made.

The Fob, pictured top of post, connects to your device’s 3.5mm headphone jack.

Loop recently secured a $10 million funding round after seeing success with its crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The startup confirmed that an Android version of the app is in the works.

Right below: the Loop ChargeCase.

Loop Fob (image 002)

And here’s the intro video.

Not only does the Fob make wirelessly payments at any traditional magnetic stripe reader ridiculously easy, it can be used separately at restaurants and bars, in which case it can store a single credit card.

Loop Fob (iPhone screenshot 001)Loop Fob (iPhone screenshot 002)Loop Fob (iPhone screenshot 003)

The Loop Fob costs $39 over at the Loop webstore.

The accessory is compatible with iPhone 4, 4s, 5, 5c and 5s and is available in blue, gray, green, purple or pink.

The $99 Loop ChargeCase for the iPhone 5 and 5s is due on April 24 and can be pre-ordered now in black or white.

The case has a separate magnetic stripe reader, stores your credit card data and transmits payment data to existing mag stripe POS terminals. As a bonus, its built-in battery delivers up to 60 percent additional power to your iPhone.

Both the Fob and the ChargeCase work with the LoopWallet app, a free download in the App Store.

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  • Javier Lopez

    Very cool concept that seems to work very well. If only I didn’t have to lug a fob around with me. The case is also cool, but it is extremely hideous. Any 3rd party loop case makers out there?

  • ✪ aidan harris ✪

    I’m all for contactless payments but that case just looks down right ugly. What we need is a solution that allows for contactless payments via Bluetooth since it’s standardised and included on most mobile phones…

    • Kurt

      Why not NFC? I use NFC in taxi’s, subway, and to get into my building. All work great. Just tap my wallet on the device and I’m done.

      • Philip Lafaurie

        I personally own the loop Fob, at first I felt like the fob was gonna be annoying to take with me. But after they announced that it would come with a carrying case that can clip to your car keys, then that solved my concern.

        Now the problem with NFC is the store you are attempting to pay at must have NFC enabled POS systems. Otherwise you have to carry around that plastic card. Now with the loop it uses Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST), which emulates the actual card strip and transmits it over a short burst 1-2 inches from the fob or case.

        Now in my experience in using it for the last 2 weeks since its release has been spot on mostly 9 out of 10 places worked which correctly aligns with their expectation of 90% of the pos systems work with this system.

      • Guest

        .

  • The Future

    apple buying it in 3,2,1…

  • Anonomous.TECH.man

    Great concept but the case looks hideous. With that big fricken logo on the back. 3rd party loop case makers.

  • smtp25

    If you walked into a shop and tried to use this for payment wouldn’t the retailer look at you suspiously? THats why people who use skimmers stamp on to real(looking) blanks. With this you walk up with your phone and some plastic thing on the end

    • Philip Lafaurie

      so far every retailer that I have walked into has not had any issue processsing my payments. They actually find it cool that it works with their pos system. It really comes down to letting the cashier know that you want to show them something cool, and talk to them about it while you “swipe” your fob or case near the “sig-pad”

  • Jennifer Ni

    There will be more form factors in 2014 as a part of Loop’s product road map.

  • https://twitter.com/MrElectrifyer MrElectrifyer

    Amazing! This could be NFC++ as soon as a jailbreak tweak finds a way to make it receive commands from NFC cards. Much secure than those stupid wallet cases that expose your credit/points/banking cards…I might consider purchasing one for my iPhone 4S when it adds a way to digitally receive my in-store receipts. In my wallet, my credit/points/banking cards are the least troubling.