The Wireless Magnetic Communication (WMC) technology being used for LG’s mobile payment service will allow consumers to pay with their phones in more places without having to change any of the point of sale terminals or re-educate merchants, technology provider Dynamics’ CEO has told NFC World.
The LG Pay service was unveiled earlier this week, and makes use of Dynamics’ WMC technology which allows any portable device to generate wireless magnetic data pulses that can be transmitted over-the-air to traditional magnetic stripe readers. Any standard credit or debit card can be loaded into a device and used to make a payment at “virtually any point of sale terminal.”
“We have nearly a decade of experience internationally building devices with programmable magnetic stripes, and that expertise is now being utilised in LG Pay,” Jeffrey Mullen told NFC World. “Every point of sale terminal has a magnetic stripe terminal — across the world, you have countries where some readers also have EMV, where some readers may also have contactless, and you have countries where none of that exists.
“You have some countries where it exists at different penetrations and then you have some countries, like the US, where some of the readers may have it but merchants don’t turn them on. The core payment system that is operable in every store that accepts electronic payments is the magnetic stripe.”
“On the phone, you can select the card that you want to use and you would place the phone within the proximity of the magnetic stripe reader at the point of sale terminal when it’s time to pay for a purchase,” Mullen, a former patent attorney and a prolific inventor with more than 200 patents to his name, explained.
“The phone will send for that selected card a wireless magnetic communication that includes the magnetic strip data that is necessary to complete a transaction. This now provides phones with access to more locations — not just domestically, but globally.
“This allows consumers to use their phones in a more variety of places without having to change any of the merchant terminals or having to re-educate merchants. It is a very clean and universal experience compared to the alternatives.”
LG Pay is expected to make its launch in Korea in June this year and will be made available initially on the company’s LG G6 handset. Plans for international expansion of the service have not been disclosed.
“More is going to be unveiled in the future — as time goes on, there will be more information that’s disclosed,” Mullen added.
Dynamics was founded by Mullen in 2007, with a primary focus on producing dynamic, battery-powered payment cards that function with existing infrastructure. The company has raised more than US$110m in three rounds of funding.