Frequently Asked Questions

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What is LoopPay™?

LoopPay is the world’s first mobile wallet solution that allows consumers to pay with their mobile devices at most places and leave their wallets at home. The LoopPay solution consists of two parts: the LoopPay App and a LoopPay device. The App manages and securely stores all payment cards including credit, debit, loyalty, and gift cards on the device. Currently, we offer the LoopPay Card, CardCase, and a stand-alone Case for iPhone 5/5s, 6, and 6 Plus.

How does LoopPay work?

Four simple steps:

  1. Download the free LoopPay app from the App Store or Google Play and order a LoopPay device from www.looppay.com/products.
  2. Set up your LoopPay account.
  3. Connect your LoopPay device, if you have one, to your phone and load all your payment cards including credit, debit, gift, rewards, and loyalty cards.
  4. When shopping, simply rest your LoopPay device against the credit card swipe slot where you usually swipe your credit card and press the button. Or, open the LoopPay app, enter your PIN and select the card you wish to pay with and tap the image of the card on the screen. You have made a payment. See the how to Get Started with step by step guides and videos.

What is the technology behind LoopPay?

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 the device emulates the same magnetic field change as a mag stripe card when swiped across the same read head. LoopPay 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.

What operating systems does LoopPay support?

LoopPay supports iOS 7 and above, and Android 4.3 and above. See the next FAQ for compatible smartphones.

Which phones are compatible with LoopPay?

LoopPay has devices compatible with both iPhone and Android.

  • LoopPay Card is compatible with any iPhone 5, 5c, 5s, 6, or 6 Plus, as well as many Android smartphones. We continue to test new Android phones and operating systems and the Android Compatibility list is regularly updated.
  • LoopPay CardCase is compatible with iPhone 5, 5s, 6, and 6 Plus.

What do I tell clerks when I pay with LoopPay at checkout?

LoopPay is a new innovation and some merchants may not yet be familiar. May we suggest you start by saying something like, “Can I show you something cool? My Visa Debit card is stored on this LoopPay device. See the instructions on the back?” (show your device) “Try it. Just hold it against the swipe slot and press the button on the front.” (If you are at a terminal that faces you, there is no need to explain to the the clerk unless they ask.)

Then, rest your LoopPay device against the swipe slot of the credit card reader and press the button, or tap the card image on the LoopPay app screen on your phone to transmit payment. The amazed reaction of the merchant and shoppers around you is fun! For more information, check out our Get Started Guides and Videos.

What other great features does the LoopPay App have?

The LoopPay App also stores IDs, loyalty, and membership cards in addition to payment cards allowing you to truly leave your bulky leather wallet at home. You can add your driver’s license, work, gym, or big box store IDs, reward cards for anything from drug stores, to coffee shops, as well as library cards and insurance cards. Plus, there is a Lockbox feature where you can safely store passwords and other critical information you may need. Everything is secured and encrypted with a password and PIN.

What happens if I lose my phone?

Rest assured that your payment cards and LoopPay account information is safe. The information is encrypted as well as password and PIN protected to prevent access or use by others. However, if you have enabled Button Pay Always on your LoopPay device, we recommend you cancel your default payment card.

What happens if I lose my LoopPay device?

Rest assured that your information is safe. If you have enabled Button Pay Always on your LoopPay device, we recommend you cancel your default payment card. The rest of the information is encrypted and protected by your username, password, and PIN. As an added measure of protection, LoopPay is designed so no one else can use your LoopPay device with their account.

Do I have to have Wi-Fi or cellular connection?

We recommend you have a good Wi-Fi connection or, at minimum, a cellular connection when you first set up your LoopPay account and add your payment, ID’s, loyalty, and membership cards.

All payment cards you swiped into your LoopPay device are available with or without a cell or Wi-Fi connection. The only cards you might not see are “View Only” cards you added manually. However, the fastest way to pay is with your default credit or debit card using the Button Pay function enabled in your device settings.

How long does the battery last?

All LoopPay devices are designed to support between 200 and 300 transmissions or payment attempts. Typically, this means the device only needs re-charging every 30 to 60 days depending upon the number of transactions a user initiates.

Does LoopPay charge additional fees for the LoopPay App?

Beyond the purchase price of the LoopPay device, there are no additional fees for using the LoopPay app. There are no “per transaction” fees or recurring costs. The LoopPay app is free.

Does LoopPay support Chip and PIN (EMV) 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. However, if the merchant POS terminal is configured to accept EMV cards, you will be instructed to use the physical card to make the transaction via the chip and PIN card reader. LoopPay will soon be announcing a solution that will address this inconvenience. More information on LoopPay and EMV.

How do I get help with LoopPay devices and the LoopPay app?

Visit our customer support site at support.looppay.com for helpful videos, step-by-step guides, articles, and solutions. If you can’t find answers to your questions, you can quickly create a support ticket for additional help.

What security prevents someone from using my LoopPay Card, and therefore, my default credit card if I lose it?

There is a user-defined time limit for your LoopPay Card. Within the application you are able to set Button Pay mode to Always, Ten Minutes, Eight Hours, or Never. If your LoopPay Card is set for 10 minutes the button on the Card will be active for only 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the Card cannot be used until re-attached to the phone and the LoopPay app. Some users set the Button Pay mode to Never, which means the LoopPay Card can never be used. Others set it to Always which is equivalent to having a credit card in your wallet.

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 LoopPay’s server to be decrypted. We then do a name match with the name in the mag stripe 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.

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” in the same manner.

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 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 the device emulates the same magnetic field change as a mag stripe card when swiped across the same read head. LoopPay 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, chip cards, or barcodes, what are the unique benefits for LoopPay’s MST technology?

NFC readers are being deployed globally but are still available at only a fraction of merchants. As a result consumers cannot use this technology in their phones to make purchases at most retailers. Chip cards on the other hand are fragile and require the physical insertion 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. LoopPay’s MST technology achieves 90% merchant acceptance and is highly secure. It is also not limited by form factor, making LoopPay 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 this purpose. LoopPay enables secure mobile payments. It leverages existing mag stripe readers to transport EMV magnetic stripe data back to issuers. LoopPay’s solution for protecting against online fraud is in work. Our plan is to use the expiry date transmitted via MST to randomly tokenize the 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 will also provide a card present-like (lower rates for the merchant) checkout experience for online merchants and consumers. In secure mode (dynamic/tokenized track data), LoopPay’s MST effectively emulates EMV mag stripe data, enabling highly secure mobile payments and addressing fraud more quickly and cheaper for all parties in the payment ecosystem. In that ecosystem, EMV and LoopPay will both effectively minimize payment fraud.

Will I be able to load chip and PIN cards with LoopPay when EMV migration occurs?

Consumers can store their chip cards in LoopPay devices today and use them at mag stripe readers (MSR) terminals without an active chip card reader (some are installed but not active). In the U.S., all POS terminals include mag stripe readers. You may wonder if MSR will become obsolete with EMV migration. The short answer is No. MSR will be around for years to come, as Visa and MasterCard EMV cards continue to increase their presence beyond the current 10% of all payment cards in circulation worldwide. Even in Europe where chip cards are pervasive, each terminal has a mag stripe reader to accept cards that only have mag stripes such as US credit and debit cards, gift cards and private label cards.

Will mag stripe readers still be around in the next few years with EMV-enabled POS terminals becoming more prevalent?

EMV-enabled terminals will continue to include a mag stripe reader (MSR) as 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 usually mag stripe only. In many cases it doesn’t 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 will likely be around even longer.

How can EMV cards and LoopPay MST address fraud for cards and mobile respectfully?

EMV was created to protect plastic cards and will continue to serve that purpose. LoopPay enables secure, contactless mobile payments. LoopPay uses the mag stripe reader to receive EMV mag stripe data (MSD) to send back to issuers. LoopPay is working to address online fraud by masking a part of the expiry date transmitted via MST to remove cardholder data from circulation. The LoopPay app can also provide additional security for online checkout without merchant changes. Over time LoopPay will provide a card present like checkout experience for online and brick-and-mortar merchants. 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 technology that uses an embedded micro chip in the credit card and was intended to make it difficult for fraudsters to clone credit cards. This solution was introduced to the U.S. during the 1996 Summer Olympics when Visa first announced its intention to drive adoption of the technology. Today, EMV represents 1.5 billion cards worldwide out of 15.7 billion payment cards in circulation (including gift cards, private label, and cards from other payment networks). All of these cards 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 to incorporate new technology like EMV.

What about using LoopPay around the world?

Today, Americans can load their own “static” mag stripe cards (non-EMV) 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 and will accept the card track data via the mag stripe reader. EMV cards can be used in the U.S. and other non-EMV countries because where the POS terminals do not have EMV or it is not active via the mag stripe reader. That’s how Europeans shop at our stores here.

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 (MSR). 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 any terminal with an MSR where EMV is not active. EMV card track data contains service code 201 which prevents those cards from being read by the standard mag stripe reader when an EMV reader is present and active. So chip cards cannot be transmitted to the MSR 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 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:

  1. If the issuer is issuing a dynamic track via LoopPay, the risk is effectively gone so liability shift is moot for that card.
  2. 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 bears the risk.
  3. If the issuer issues a static 101 track data transmitted by MST, into either an EMV or magnetic-only terminal, the issuer bears the risk.

Where does LoopPay store the mag stripe track data? Does it comply with PCI regulations?

The LoopPay Card stores track data from credit, debit, loyalty and gift cards in an encrypted format in secure memory within the 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.

Why is the transaction information LoopPay sends to the acquiring bank and then the issuer considered Card Present (CP) vs. Card Not Present (CNP)?

“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 magnetic stripe track data data is transmitted via the POS terminal. Since the POS terminal mag stripe reader only accepts that track data, there is no way for it to tell the difference between a physical card or a LoopPay transmission; 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.

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 do merchants think?

Merchants, historically, have been reluctant to change their POS terminals when new technology is introduced without a real, tangible benefit. Merchants have expressed interest in LoopPay since it leverages standard mag stripe readers on existing POS systems with no change to the merchants hardware and software, or the networks or processors. LoopPay is accepted at 90% of existing merchant locations. And by working with issuers, Magnetic Secure Technology (MST) can transmit dynamic, tokenized data that is as secure as EMV. Over time, with additional factors of authentication provided by the mobile device, LoopPay will provide even greater security than what a chip card alone is capable of.

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 pen-testing. To get at your underlying question — the mag stripe data is securely stored in the device. 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. 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.