Loop Comments - I love it

I have been using my Loop for sometime now as an early adopter. The product really performs as stated which is something missing in the many mobile payment applications.

I see some people comparing it to Coin, NFC, Chip and Pin, etc. It makes sense that people would do that as there are so many horses in the mobile payments race right now.

Someone brought up Coin and the fact that it has a battery; not a rechargeable cell. It is also running Bluetooth and well as a processor and creating a magnetic field. There is one company that provides batteries for such a card and my calculations are that coin should last the average consumer about 2-3 months at best. To spend $100 on a 3 month card seems a bit crazy to me but it's a free market. Loop is rechargeable and has not battery issues. Buyer beware. Coin is vaporware right now. Loop is real. The companies website also reports that many more form factors are being releases so I have to give the guys kudos for delivering something more that a vision or a youtube video.

As far as NFC - are we still really having this debate?

NFC is dead for payments and has been for sometime. Waiting for NFC is like waiting for the predictions of the world ending according to the Mayan calendar. NFC is a great technology but not for payments. The largest NFC company in the US went under because the technology was never embraced by merchants.


The same is true for Chip and Pin in the US. Chip and Pin is a 30 year old technology and I have yet to see a retailer in the US using it. When 9 out of the 10 places I go into have chip and pin, then I will look more to chip and pin.

One thing I do know is Loop will work in 9 out of the 10 places I go into and that has meaning to me. Think about the millions of terminals in the US that need to be changed before a technology other than Loop's will work. These guys have done something pretty smart and incredible - they have created a mobile NFC-like payment mobile payment device that delivers the promises of NFC today and is as secure as Chip and Pin. What could be better?

I say kudos to Loop for taking an intelligent look at the market and engineering a solution that works! As mentioned, I've been a tester and a huge fan. Merchants are amazed; not frightened. The transactions are authorized just as if I had swiped and my wallet is sure a lot thinner. I look forward to seeing Loop embedded into my phone, my wearable, etc.

There is a shift coming in 2014 and these guys have done it.

Stop Carrying Credit Cards With This Fob That Can Fake Them

George Costanza would love the Loop: it's a tiny device that stores all of your credit card information, lets you pay at any terminal, and guarantees you'll never live with the threat of your wallet exploding again. And you can buy it right now.

If Loop sounds familiar, you might be thinking of Coin, the slim programmable card that made a splash late last year. There are a couple of key differences, though. Whereas Coin requires swiping, Loop works by generating a magnetic field that registers as a swipe at credit card terminals.

Loop also comes in a couple of different forms: a small fob ($40) or a charging case for your iPhone ($100). An Android version of the app that powers both is still in development, but Android phones can generally get by on NFC. Both devices come with a magnetic card reader to store your credit card data that looks a lot like a Square fob.

The other big difference, however, is that Loop actually exists. At the moment, Coin exists mainly in the form of a YouTube video and a crowdfunding campaign. The actual product isn't due out until the summer. Loop started shipping on Wednesday, and GigaOm's Kevin Fitchard already took it for a spin. On one hand, he really liked it:

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.

But there is this one annoying drawback:

I found it a bit annoying that there was no connection between my phone and the fob unless they are physically linked. That means to switch between cards I have loaded in the fob, I have to plug it into my phone's audio jack, open the app, enter my PIN, select the card I want to use and then unplug. In my mind, it's just easier to go into my wallet and pull out the physical plastic.

That does sound annoying. It also brings up the big question with products like these: Isn't it just easier to keep using credit cards? They're even getting smarter soon, and chip and pin would break this whole system, making this a temporary investment. Frankly, the Loop is pretty small, but it's not as small as a tiny, thin credit card. And, unless you carry 15 of them, chances are the thickness of your wallet's not really a problem.


Then there's the security piece of things. Can any hacker with a scanner just walk by and nab your credit card information? According to Loop, the answer is no. All of your data is "encrypted and tokenized" for security purposes, and you need to input a pin every time you make a payment. You also have to push a button to activate the Loop before making a payment, so it's not like the data is out there floating in the ether all the time.

But, hey, technology is progress. Plus, the charge case actually adds 60 percent more battery life to your phone and makes you look like a badass at the check out. A badass who also maybe looks like a kind of shifty hacker. [Loop via GigaOm]