Frequently Asked Questions
What is LoopPay™?
LoopPay is the world’s first mobile wallet solution that allows consumers to pay with their mobile devices virtually everywhere. The LoopPay solution consists of two parts: the LoopPay App and a LoopPay device. The LoopPay App securely stores all payment cards including credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards. With a LoopPay device, consumers can pay with their mobile phones virtually everywhere. Currently, we offer two devices: LoopPay Fob and ChargeCase.
How does LoopPay work?
Three simple steps:
- Download the free LoopPay app from the App Store or Google Play and order a LoopPay device at LoopPay.com.
- Set up your LoopPay account and load all your payment cards including credit, debit, gift, and loyalty cards using the LoopPay Fob connected to your phone.
- When shopping, simply place your LoopPay device against the credit card swipe slot and press the button. You have made a payment.
What operating systems does LoopPay support?
iOS 7 and above and Android 4.2 and above. The LoopPay Fob supports all iOS and Android devices. The LoopPay ChargeCase works with iPhone 5 and 5S.
What Android phones does LoopPay work with?
Click here for an updated list of the Android phones that we have verified to work and those that we know don’t work. We continue to test more Android phones and will regularly update the list. The LoopPay App supports Android OS 4.2 or later.
What do I tell clerks and servers when I pay with LoopPay at checkout?
LoopPay is a new innovation that some may not be familiar with. May we suggest you start by saying “Let me show you something cool. My credit card is on here (show them the LoopPay Fob or ChargeCase). Let me know when you are ready for me to swipe my card”. Then, place your Loop device against the swipe slot of the credit card reader, press the button or tap the card image on the screen. We guarantee you will have fun doing this just to see the reaction of the clerk or server. Some may have seen it before, but those who haven’t will be truly amazed.
What other great features does the LoopPay App have?
The LoopPay App also stores ID and membership cards in addition to payment cards. They are always at hand when you need them and you can take pictures of your drivers license, insurance, rewards cards, etc. Plus, there is a Lockbox feature that safely stores passwords and other critical information you may need. All are PIN-protected and encrypted.
What happens if I lose my phone?
Rest assured that your lost or stolen phone will not give up your Loop account information. The information is encrypted to prevent access or use by others. The app is both password and PIN-protected in addition to the passcode you set for your phone.
Do I have to have Wi-Fi or cellular connection?
No, you can always press the button on the side of the LoopPay Fob or ChargeCase to pay with your default card. If you have a LoopPay ChargeCase and you don’t have a cellular connection and you need to pay with a card other than your default card, simply ensure Bluetooth is turned on, and pick the card you wish to pay with and Tap to Pay.
How long does the battery last?
The battery can power ~300 transmissions before a recharge. At 5 transactions per day, the battery will last for about two months. It can take up to 40 minutes to recharge to full capacity.
Does LoopPay charge additional fees for the LoopPay App?
Beyond the purchase price of the Fob or ChargeCase, there are no additional fees for using the LoopPay App. There are no per transaction fees or recurring costs. The LoopPay App is free.
Will Loop support Chip and PIN cards?
Yes. You can add chip cards to your LoopPay account today and use them at mag stripe readers (MSR) just like any other payment card.
Who do I contact if I need support for using my LoopPay devices and LoopPay App?
We have a dedicated support site at community.LoopPay.com. It is a collaborative site for sharing information and experiences using LoopPay products. LoopPay representatives are also active in the community and answer all questions.
What security prevents someone from using my Fob, and therefore, my default credit card if I lose it?
There is a user-defined time limit for the LoopPay ChargeCase and for the Fob when detached from the phone. Within the application you are able to set Button Pay mode to Always, Ten Minutes, Eight Hours, or Never. If your LoopPay Fob is set for 10 minutes the button on the LoopPay Fob will be active for only 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the Fob cannot be used until re-attached to the phone and the LoopPay App. Some users set the Button Pay mode as Never, which means it can never be used when detached from the phone. Others set it to Always which is equivalent to having a credit card in your wallet. For the LoopPay ChargeCase, we recommend to set Button Pay mode to Always.
Can someone take my payment cards and store them in their LoopPay device and use them?
LoopPay denies the storage of standard payment cards that do not match the LoopPay account holder’s name. Every LoopPay device is linked to a single LoopPay account holder, after the user swipes a card to store it, the encrypted data goes to Loop’s server to be decrypted. We then do a name match of the name on the track data, against the name of the account holder, if the name does not match, we deny the storage attempt and flag the event for security review. This is one of the security precautions we have in place to protect cardholder information.
How does Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology work?
MST technology generates changing magnetic fields over a very short period of time. This is accomplished by putting alternating current through an inductive loop, which can then be received by the magnetic read head of the credit card reader. The signal received from Loop emulates the same magnetic field change as a mag stripe card when swiped across the same read head. Loop works within a 3-inch distance from the read head. The field dissipates rapidly beyond that point, and only exists during a transmission initiated by the user.
Compared to NFC, programmable cards, or barcodes, what are the unique benefits for Loop’s MST solution?
NFC solutions are not widely accepted. As a result consumers are frustrated, as they simply cannot make purchases at most retailers. Programmable cards on the other hand are fragile and require the physical swiping of the card. The cost of these cards is high and they are not very durable, making it quite cost-prohibitive for mass adoption. As for barcodes, merchant acceptance is extremely low and security standards are also inconsistent and vulnerable. Loop’s MST technology achieves 90% merchant acceptance and is highly secure. It is also not limited by form factor, making Loop a viable technology to meet the needs for mobile payments in the future. Best of all, it does not require merchants to make changes to their existing payment systems.
How will EMV migration work in conjunction with LoopPay?
EMV was created to protect plastic cards and will continue to serve the purpose. LoopPay enables secure mobile payments. It leverages existing mag stripe readers to transport EMV magnetic stripe data back to issuers. Furthermore, LoopPay is planning to address online fraud by masking a part of the expiry date transmitted via MST to mask full cardholder data. The LoopPay app can also provide additional security for online checkout without waiting for merchants to change their hardware. Over time LoopPay can even provide a card present-like checkout experience for online merchants and consumers. In secure mode (dynamic/tokenized track data), LoopPay’s MST effectively emulates EMV MSD, enabling mobile payments and addressing fraud more quickly and cheaper for all parties in the payment ecosystem. In that ecosystem, EMV and LoopPay will co-exist minimizing payment fraud.
Will I be able to load Chip and PIN cards with Loop when EMV migration occurs?
Yes. Consumers can store their Chip cards in LoopPay devices today and use them at mag stripe readers (MSR) only terminals. In the U.S., all POS terminals include mag stripe readers (MSR). You may wonder if MSR will become obsolete with EMV migration. The short answer is No. MSR will be around for decades to come, as Visa and MasterCard EMV cards only represent ~10% of all payment cards in circulation worldwide. Even in Europe where EMV cards are pervasive, each terminal has a mag stripe reader to accept cards that only have mag stripes such as gift cards and local private label cards.
Where does LoopPay store the mag stripe track data? Does it comply with PCI rules?
The LoopPay Fob and ChargeCase store track data from credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards in an encrypted format in secure memory within each device; not on the phone or in the cloud. LoopPay is a Level One PCI Certified Provider and is compliant with PCI-DSS standards. Note that there is a difference between the mag stripe track data on the card and the card numbers that merchants often keep on file in their servers. The track data contains additional information that your card issuer provides which authenticates that the data came from the magnetic stripe and not by keying in a number read from the card. LoopPay stores a copy of the card number in an encrypted format in our PCI Level 1 data center, per PCI requirements, much like many big merchants that store your card number in a file for faster checkout. When you want to view the card number on the LoopPay App, you must open the app, and enter your personal PIN for the app to contact our servers for that information which is then decrypted and displayed for up to 60 seconds.
How does LoopPay handle the fact that by using this device the information being sent to the acquiring bank and then the issuer is Card Present (CP) vs. Card Not Present?
“Card Present” transactions require two items to be true: 1) The transaction is accomplished via POS terminal in a “brick and mortar” store and 2) the card swipe data is transmitted via the POS terminal. Since the POS terminal simply accepts magnetic stripe track data it cannot tell whether it was swiped from a physical card or via Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST); the POS device Acquirer and Issuer only see a CP transaction. Using LoopPay to transmit the track data is the same to the POS as using a card swipe to read the track data off the card.
Will users be able to use Chip cards with LoopPay when EMV migration starts to occur in late 2015?
Yes. Users can store Chip cards in LoopPay today and use them at mag stripe readers (MSR) just like any other non-Chip card. You may wonder if MSR will disappear as the market starts to adopt EMV technology. The short answer is No. EMV cards only represent ~10-percent of all payment cards in circulation worldwide. Even in Europe where EMV cards are pervasive, each terminal has a mag stripe reader to accept cards that only have mag stripes such as gift cards and local private label cards. This will be true for the U.S. market when it starts to adopt EMV. Consumers should know EMV was created 30+ years ago to authenticate transactions in an environment where telecommunication infrastructure was not accessible. In the U.S. market, telecommunication was comparatively better; the need to adopt EMV was therefore less urgent. The cost/benefit analysis resulted in slow adoption. This will hold true for a majority of merchants who struggle to justify benefits of changing their systems in the coming years. Further, EMV cards do not provide the same level of security when it comes to online and mobile transactions as the world is moving from physical store shopping to online and mobile.
Will mag stripe readers still be around in the next few years with EMV enabled POS coming?
EMV enabled terminals will also contain a mag stripe reader (MSR) so long as there is even 1% of cards that are mag stripe only. There are 15.7 billion payment cards today worldwide, and only 1.5 billion are EMV-enabled cards. It costs on average $1.50 to $2 more per card to issue chip cards vs. mag stripe cards – note that there are billions of gift cards, loyalty cards, and PIN debit cards that are all mag stripe only. It would not make sense economically or technically to convert to expensive chip cards. EMV cards will have a mag stripe on them as long as there are still mag stripe only POS terminals. That means MSRs will be around for a long time, and now that LoopPay has turned MSRs into contactless mobile payment readers, they’ll be around even longer.
Is the LoopPay device safe when transmitting? Can LoopPay provide added dynamic security?
The transmission between a LoopPay-enabled device and the POS reader must be activated by the user, it only lasts for a few milliseconds and can only be done over a very short distance (1 to 4 inches). The transmission cannot be initiated by a separate reader like RF or NFC protocol, thus LoopPay-enabled devices are not susceptible to being “sniffed.” LoopPay can also work with issuers to present dynamic data in the discretionary field, which the issuer can validate, thus giving end-to-end security, without changing the terminal or the processor.
How can EMV cards and LoopPay MST jointly address fraud for cards and mobile respectfully?
EMV was created to protect plastic cards and will continue to serve that purpose. LoopPay enables secure mobile payments. It leverages existing mag stripe readers to transport EMV MSD type of data back to issuers. Further, LoopPay is planning to address online fraud by masking a part of the expiry date transmitted via MST to take full cardholder data out of circulation. The LoopPay App can also provide additional security for online checkout without initially waiting for merchants to change. Over time LoopPay can even provide a card present like checkout experience for the merchants and consumers. In secure mode (dynamic/tokenized track data) LoopPay’s MST effectively emulates EMV MSD, enabling mobile payments and addressing fraud, faster and cheaper to all parties in the payment ecosystem. In that ecosystem, EMV and LoopPay will co-exist to jointly fight payment fraud.
What’s the history of the EMV solution?
EMV is a 30+ year old Chip card technology intended to make it difficult for people to clone cards. This solution has been struggling to make it into the U.S. since 1996 Summer Olympics when Visa first announced it would be “in the U.S. in 3 years.” EMV represents 1.5 billion cards worldwide; out of 15.7 billion payment cards in circulation (including gift cards, private label, and other card networks) that all have mag stripes on them, and nearly 90-percent are mag stripe only. Every EMV card issued today, even in Europe, also contains a mag stripe because the vast majority of the world still has terminals that accept only mag stripe. It’s a very long, expensive process to convert merchant POS systems
What about backward and future compatibility?
Even in Europe where EMV is pervasive, every EMV POS terminal has a mag stripe reader integrated because it must support all existing cards – whether for American, Chinese, Japanese tourists or for local private label cards, gift cards, and loyalty cards that use only a mag stripe. When the U.S. eventually migrates to EMV – which will take many more years – those terminals will also have mag stripe readers for the same reasons, but there’s one additional factor. The mag stripe readers are now also contactless mobile payment receivers, thanks to LoopPay.
What about using LoopPay around the world?
Today, Americans can load their own “static” mag stripe cards into LoopPay and it works worldwide even in EMV countries, because the service code on that mag stripe tells the POS it’s a mag stripe-only card. EMV cards can be used in the U.S. and other non-EMV countries because the POS terminals can only accept mag stripe. That’s how Europeans shop at our stores here, by swiping.
What do merchants think?
Merchants have no real incentives to adopt yet another POS change. What gets a merchant’s attention is that LoopPay leverages standard MSR readers on existing POS systems with zero change to hardware, software by merchants, or networks or processors. Instant 90-percent acceptance, no migration required. And by working with issuers, MST can be made to transmit dynamic tokenized data that is as secure as EMV. Over time with additional factors of authentication provided by the mobile device, LoopPay will continue to provide even greater security than what a Chip card alone is capable of.
How do EMV terminals recognize and accept MST transactions to pass them on to the processor and issuers in an EMV world?
Most if not all EMV-terminals also include a standard mag stripe reader. Because of that, any standard mag stripe card that is loaded into a LoopPay device can be transmitted, read and processed through that standard reader. Consumers can also store their Chip cards in LoopPay devices today and use them at mag stripe readers (MSR) only terminals. EMV card track data contains service code 201 which prevents those cards from being read by the standard mag stripe reader. So EU credit cards cannot be transmitted to the mag stripe reader on an EMV terminal. At some point, issuers may issue to LoopPay users dynamic cards with service code 101 to make these cards work at any terminal (EMV or mag stripe only terminals).
How will MST transactions be priced and what would happen with EMV liability shift?
The good news is that MST is still considered a card present mag stripe transaction with the associated rates with no required changes by any party. When liability shifts in Oct 2015 in the U.S., there are three basic scenarios:
- If the issuer is issuing a dynamic track via LoopPay, the risk is effectively gone so liability shift is mute for that card.
- If the issuer issues a 201 Chip card that is self provisioned by consumer and MST transmits into a mag only terminal, then the merchants bares the risk.
- If the issuer issues a static 101 track data transmitted by MST, into either an EMV or magnetic only terminal, the issuer bares the risk.
Did you have the product pen-tested already? And if so, what was the result?
Pen-testing is short for penetration testing. This is where someone tries to break into the device to steal or hack the system. LoopPay is a Level One PCI certified Third Party Processor, and LoopPay will continue to test its systems, which will include product Pen-testing. To get at your underlying question — the mag stripe data is securely stored in the device. Once the mag stripe data is stored, it can only be transmitted once you have authenticated yourself to the device via login, password and PIN. Your mag stripe track data is safer in the LoopPay than in your wallet. Only you should know the login, password and PIN combination that allows access to the card.
How does LoopPay innovation impact the marketplace?
LoopPay innovation brings overnight changes to reinvigorate mobile payments. No company has been able to bridge the last inch from the smartphone to the POS terminal in a ubiquitous way that achieves greater than 90% acceptance. In fact, alternate technologies today are available at less than 10% of merchants. The mobile super computer in our hand is capable of providing better security than plastic chip cards. It is imperative to accelerate adoption with today’s payment infrastructure. Anything else is prohibitively expensive and difficult, resulting in anemic adoption rates as seen with EMV over the last 30 years. With LoopPay, the restaurants, the bars, the dry cleaners, salons, and specialty shops can facilitate their customers’ mobile lifestyle without having to reinvest in expensive new POS systems.