Mobile payments startup Loop has closed a $10 Mn Series A funding from undisclosed investors which includes “many high-powered CEOs, including people from the payment industry” according to CEO Will Graylin. on 12th October 2013, Lets Talk Payments had written about Loop - describing its platform and features.
On 8th October 2013, Loop had announced the introduction of a new payment enabling technology. Which consists of a smartphone app using magnetic field technology to enable customers to make payments in-store. Loop is led by Will Graylin (CEO) who had previously founded WAY Systems and ROAM Data, and George Wallner (Formerly, CEO of Hypercom).
“The funding will set the stage for Loop’s Series B in early 2014, which will include participation from both strategic and institutional investors,” says the company.
This video gives you an overview of Loop's platform:
Loop offers two products:
This is similar to Square’s device except that it can also be detached and used to make payments. It consists of a small audio jack device with a built in card reader to store the user’s cards encrypted into a secure memory module. A microprocessor and magnetic induction loop within the Fob is said to enable the user to transmit user’s card data to any merchant card reader. iOS and Android devices are compatible with the Loop Fob. The company says that Fob can transmit a user’s card data while attached to his phone. The device can also be used at bars or restaurants in detached mode.
As a mode of payment, NFC has been having a hard time. Loop however makes use of magnetic induction to transmit data to a card reader. The ChargeCase boasts to be a protective case that delivers up to 60% more battery power for users than the iPhone 5s. An audio jack mag stripe reader is equipped with the ChargeCase. This enables the user to swipe all his magnetic stripe cards into the loop device. The ChargeCase works with 90% of the credit card readers according to company but not at ATMs or gasoline pumps.
Users can swipe all of their cards stored on a secure chip in the ChargeCase with an audio jack reader provided by the company. They can also utilize the Fob with its integrated card reader for the same purpose. “This is in contrast to NFC, where you have to go to a bank and have cards downloaded,” says George Wallner, Chief Technology Officer at Loop. “NFC’s so complicated that it hasn’t taken off.”
The company will ship out its first Loop Fob to its backers at Kickstarter later this month. Graylin stated that kickstarter wasn’t really about the $100,000 they raised there, it enabled them to access the ‘world’s largest focus group’ according to him. Loop also plans on shipping its ChargeCase ($99, 1200 mAh battery) in Q1 2014, followed by a premium ChargeCase (1500 mAh battery and much thinner) shipping in Q2.
Loop recently entered into an agreement with Campus Nation Netowork to create a Campus Loop product line. This will be a digital wallet product to enable college students with support for cafeteria plans, campus IDs, rewards, loyalty plans and other payment cards.
According to me, this tie-up is a brilliant move by Loop. Sales at college stores in the U.S reached an $10.45 Bn during the 2011-12 academic year, say estimates from the National Association of College Stores. They enable mobile payments for the tech savvy college crowd, most of whom own anywhere between 3 to 5 digital devices at a point of time.
“LoopWallet fully compliments Campus Nation Network’s strategy to fully serve the university and college markets with smartphone transaction coupons, special offers & capabilities, college-specific information, and other services,” stated Thomas Kuehle, CNN’s President.