LG to launch mobile payments service using magnetic communication technology

LG Pay
POSITIVE SIGNALS: Dynamics’ Jeff Mullen with LG executive director Kim Hong-joo

LG will launch its LG Pay mobile payments service in Korea in June this year using a mobile payment technology that works by “generating a magnetic signal from a mobile device such as a smartphone, and paying it to a general credit card terminal”. The hardware has already been built into the LG G6 smartphone, and the company has secured support for the service from seven Korean credit card companies.

The Wireless Magnetic Communication (WMC) technology is being supplied by payment solution provider Dynamics “to accelerate the preparation of LG Pay”, which will undergo “thorough field testing and verification” ahead of its launch.

“We are in discussions with all eight credit card companies in Korea,” LG says, “and seven credit card companies have decided to participate in the LG Pay service. Schedule of the service by card will be announced in the future.

“WMC is a proprietary mobile payment technology developed by Dynamics in 2007. Generating a magnetic signal from a mobile device such as a smartphone, and paying it to a general credit card terminal. LG Electronics has already installed LG Pay hardware in LG G6 launched in Korea and will start the domestic service of LG Pay from June.”

Expansion plans

LG Pay will also feature membership cards as well as online payments, and the company plans to expand the mobile payment service with “various payment and financial services such as banking” in the future.

LG confirmed its intentions to launch its own mobile payments service in November 2015 and reports emerged in October last year that LG was working on developing an alternative to Samsung’s proprietary Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) technology.

However, the launch of LG Pay was delayed in February 2016, and doubts surfaced in February this year over whether or not the service would ever be launched, with claims that LG was to abandon its plans altogether due to issues testing the service in South Korea.

Samsung Pay launched with MST technology in South Korea in September 2015 and saw one million Koreans signing up to use the service in its first month. Reports emerged in February this year that both Apple Pay and Android Pay are also preparing to launch in Korea.

Viable technology

“Dynamics is a strategic partner with the most advanced technology in the field of mobile payment,” says Kim Hong-joo, executive director of the MC product planning group at LG. “We are giving more benefits to consumers through LG Pay — we will do our best to do that.”

“Dynamics’ WMC solution is the leading technology in the mobile payment industry and has accumulated over 10 years of technology,” adds Dynamics CEO Jeff Mullen. “We expect LG Pay to be a viable technology to succeed in the next generation mobile payment services market.”

Dynamics was founded by Mullen in 2007, and the company primarily designs and manufactures interactive payment cards and advanced payment platforms. It has raised over US$110m from investors including Mastercard, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Bain Capital Ventures and Adams Capital Management.

  • Willam Hugh Murray, CISSP

    Functionally WMC and MST do the same good thing. Patent problems? Both Korean firms; perhaps not. However, while it is owned by Samsung, MST was developed in the US.

    That said, having used MST, I can testify that it compares well to NFC for convenience and security.