About this project
Loop simplifies life, with the World's 1st Mobile Wallet that Securely Stores all your cards and lets you use them at 90% of Retailers:
You'll love Loop because you can store and organize all your cards on your smartphones, and use them just about everywhere. It simply works on 90%+ of merchants without them changing anything on their systems. It is secure, convenient (less plastic to carry), cool, and it can help you find great deals from your favorite merchants.
Simply swipe in, or scan in all those cards in our wallets or laying around in drawers or pockets (payment, IDs, Membership and Loyalty cards). The LoopWallet doesn't get fatter with more cards loaded like our leather wallets do, and it can provide better interactions with participating card issuers and merchants that provide real-time data on balance, available credit and even deals and rewards. Loop is all about making life easier.
Loop as seen in the media:
- Woburn start-up turns your phone into a wallet - Boston Globe
- The Loop Could Dethrone Google Wallet, Other Mobile Payment Providers – Benzinga
- Loop turns almost any point-of-sale system into a mobile payment machine (hands-on) - Engadget
- Loop Hits Kickstarter, The Absolute Greatest Mobile Payment App To Date – TheSlanted.com
- INSIDE Secure Powers Innovative Mobile Wallet Solution from LoopPay – WSJ
- Loop: The Future Of Mobile Payments Or A Temporary Fix? – TechCrunch
- Loop Mobile Wallet – MikeShouts.com
- Loop’s interesting twist on the mobile wallet – GigaOM
- Loop Might Finally Make Mobile Payments Work – Gadget Review
- Loop Mobile Reader Makes Contactless Payments with Mag-Stripe Tech – PaymentsSource
- Loop Mobile Wallet Comes Full Circle – Payment Week
- Loop rolling out mobile wallet that works at 90% of retailers – Boston Business Journal
Here are our first two products....
The Loop Fob is a small audio jack device with a built-in card reader to safely store your cards encrypted into a secure memory module. A microprocessor and a magnetic induction loop within the Fob allows you to transmit your card data to just about any merchant card reader. The Loop Fob is compatible with both iOS and Android devices (iOS app will be ready by December for download, the Android app will be available in the first quarter of 2014). The Loop Fob is capable of transmitting your card data while attached to your phone or can be easily used in detached mode in restaurant or bar settings.
In the package you will also get an audio jack key ring to carry around your Fob.
For an easy, and stylish way to carry your Fob, we have developed the Fob Bumper.
The Loop ChargeCase is a protective case with the Loop secure storage and transmission capabilities, and it also delivers up to 60% more battery power for your iPhone 5 and 5s when you need it. The ChargeCase comes with an encrypted audio jack card reader to swipe in all of your mag stripe cards into the ChargeCase.
(The ChargeCase pictures are exactly what our production version will look like. On the production version the verbiage “Hold to Card Slot” will be on a removable sticker.)
(Here is the Loop ChargeCase giving you the extra boost you need to get through the day. The ChargeCase gives you 60% more battery.)
- Both the Loop Fob and the Loop ChargeCase come with a USB cable for charging.
- The LoopWallet app will be available for free download.
The People Behind Loop:
Our founders, Will and George, are a couple of entrepreneur geeks trying to make our own little dent in the universe. George pioneered the mag stripe credit card reader in the 80's, took his company Hypercom public, and revolutionized the way we pay. Will created the first company to turn mobile phones into payment terminals with Way Systems and he built ROAM Data with the same spirit of ingenuity. Now, the two have teamed up to solve the biggest challenge facing mobile payments today: how to turn your phone into a wallet that works, for any consumer, “right now”. Loop is the first company that has solved this enormous challenge and now we need your backing to help us put this innovation in your hands so you can go from a big fat wallet or pocketbook, to the convenience of carrying only your phone (and some cash if you’re feel old fashioned!)
The Problem and the Breakthrough:
So why hasn’t anyone solved this problem yet? It’s because getting a phone to talk with the tens of millions of credit card readers has never been done before. Big companies have spent millions of dollars creating new mobile transmission technologies that require expensive changes to each credit card reader, costing every store hundreds if not thousands of dollars. Store owners have no incentive to change their systems to accept new technologies that few consumers are using, and consumers are not going to adopt a solution that they can’t use where they shop every day. So no merchant adoption equals no consumer adoption – it’s a deadlock.
Until...one day George and Will were discussing the problems with new mobile wallet technologies like Near Field Communication, and George had the idea of using the reliable and faithful “mag stripe reader”, the one that every credit card reader already has. The idea was to treat the mag stripe reader as a receiver to accept transmissions from a phone or accessory using a magnetic induction loop. At the time, no one in the industry thought this was possible. Through lots of trial and error in his lab, George was able to make the first contactless mag stripe transmission work in December of 2012 and dubbed it Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST). Will then recruited a team of really smart veterans from MIT and around the world and everyone got cracking. The Loop team made our first successful consumer transaction at Beacon Grill in Woburn, MA in March of this year.
Will was ecstatic, as he had been working on mobile payments for a decade, and this was a true breakthrough. The two immediately filed patents and got to work figuring out how to leverage this new technology to create a convenient and secure mobile wallet solution for consumers. Nearly a year later, after proof of concept, we’re close to bringing our first products to market.
As entrepreneurs always do, Will and George moved quickly to put the MST technology into action and integrated it with exiting products in order to test the concept. The first ChargeCase was created by building the MST technology in a Mophie JuicePack and our first Fob was built into an existing audio-jack Magnetic Stripe Reader. With these two models we were able to prove that the Loop works at over 90% of existing credit card readers. We are now ready to manufacture the production quality products.
How does it work?
The MST technology generates changing magnetic fields over a 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. This signal received emulates the same magnetic field change over time as when a magstripe card is swiped across the same read head. Loop works within 4 inches from the read head; the field dissipates rapidly beyond that point, and only exists during a transmission initiated by the user (as opposed to NFC).
Here is a peak under the hood of the Loop Fob with the Fob PCB:
How are cards loaded and used?
You can swipe all YOUR mag stripe cards into the Loop Fob via the integrated card reader into a secure memory. We supply a separate audio jack reader to do the same with the Loop ChargeCase. Then use the LoopWallet app to select the card you want to use, place the Loop near the credit card reader, and hit the transmit button on the screen or device. The signal will be sent and the credit card machine will accept the transmission.
Loop gives you control of what you put in your mobile wallet. Just load your cards as described above (credit, debit, gift, membership, loyalty) into a secure memory in your Loop Fob or ChargeCase. Use your LoopWallet app to organize and manage your cards. You can even take photos of your IDs, Membership Cards, and even your receipts. The LoopWallet app also allows you to store your passwords in a centralized location. The Loop can only be unlocked with your PIN.
You have complete control over what cards to use, and when to use them, just like a regular wallet. You can also transmit a “default” card that you select by simply pressing the transmit button on the Loop Fob or ChargeCase. The Loop already works at more than 90% of retailers. Due to our extensive field-testing, even before we ship, we know that the Loop works all around the US and internationally as well.
Loop ChargeCase and Fob Packaging:
We would love to hear what you think about the Loop ChargeCase and Fob packaging. Please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Thank you for your support and feedback.
We are currently beta testing our first 100 Loop Fobs that were produced using rapid prototype plastics (kind of like printing in 3D). Currently, the production tooling for the Loop Fob is in progress and will be ready in early November. We will do a small production run to proof our tooling design in mid-November. We will make adjustments to the tooling, if necessary, to finalize the design. Once proofed, we will be ready for full production and have the capability to produce 10,000 units a day. Since the Loop ChargeCase is derived from the integration of the Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) module with an existing case with backup battery power, we have also been able to quickly produce 100 Loop ChargeCases. These units are available today for beta testing that will begin in mid to late October. Based on inputs from our users, we will make necessary improvements by the end of December. We will then start full production in mid-January.
We need your backing to produce our first production runs and get this great new solution in your hands. In order to meet and exceed customer delivery expectations, our plan is to produce 10,000 Loop Fobs by December 2013 and 10,000 Loop ChargeCases by February 2014. Follow-on orders will be filled as soon as they come off the production line. Backers can rest assured Will and George have a long history of bringing quality products to market and this product will be no different. While at ROAM data, Will was producing and delivering 15,000 units a day of his magnetic card readers for mobile phones. The current production capacity of the Loop ChargeCase is 1,500 units per day. If there are any unexpected delays in the production and fulfillment process, we promise to keep our backers informed as we will work diligently to put amazing Loop products in your hands.
Major Milestones for the Loop Fob:
- Beta testing will end in mid-November
- Production tooling is in process and will be ready the second week in November
- Conduct small production run to proof the tooling in mid-November
- Finalize tooling design at the end of November
- Move to full production December 1st
Major Milestones for the Loop ChargeCase:
- Tooling is complete
- Start beta testing in mid to late October
- Make modifications to the Beta design if needed by December.
- Start full production in mid January
Other team members:
We have attracted an all-star team of seasoned entrepreneurs.
Damien Balsan is a graduate from MIT from the Sloan Fellows/Management of Technology program. He has been in the mobile and payment industry for over 20 years. Most recently he was leading PayPal’s POS Ecosystem development, closing deals with major POS vendors and working with large tier retailers to accept PayPal at the POS. Prior to PayPal, he led NOKIA NFC Business Development activities focusing on developers and succeeded in embedding NFC in millions of Smartphones. He leads business development efforts and new revenue strategy.
Greg Ewald has worked in both large and startup technology companies including Novell and NCR, ranging in disciplines, from POS systems and integration, to retail operations and PC network applications, to two-factor authentication for the financial industry, server side high availability and disaster recovery and payment services. Greg heads up Loop’s marketing efforts for distribution through a variety of channels.
Don Mileff brings over 25 years of solid technical and creative product achievement to Loop with a background covering payment and ATMs for some of the largest banks in the world. He also worked on accounting systems, call center solutions, travel and banking solutions, as well as computer management and operational systems. He has served as a chief architect for several startups such as the travel-based startup Atinera and has also worked for large enterprises like HP and AT&T.
Chris Nissen is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy with a MA in Management and Leadership. Prior to working at Loop, he was an Aircraft Maintenance Officer and an Acquisitions Officer working on an avionics system upgrade for the Airborne Warning and Control System. Prior to leaving the Air Force he was spearheading a $20 million dollar Joint US/NATO simulator program for the E-3.
Risks and challenges
Based upon our testing, at thousands of merchant locations, the Loop currently works at over 90% of these stores – restaurants, bars, clothing stores, malls – all of the places you typically shop. The Loop does not yet work at gas pumps and ATMs, because these devices require a physical card to make contact before reading. There are also a small single digit percentage of credit card readers in certain stores that require a software update in order to read the Loop signal. We will be working with these merchants in the months to come on the minor adjustments needed to accept your Loop transactions.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Loop is a Level One PCI Certified Provider and follows PCI rules. Loop does not store mag stripe track data on the phone's application memory, nor does Loop store track data in the cloud. Loop enables the consumer to store their own track data in an encrypted format, onto a secure memory inside the Loop Fob or Loop ChargeCase, very similar to NFC storing the card data on a secure chip. There are no rules against a consumer securely storing and controlling their own track data in their own protective environment. Consumers store our own plastic cards in a leather wallet, or keep them in a drawer when they don't want to carry too many pieces of plastic. Loop enables you to store the same cards, (any type of mag stripe card - credit, debit, loyalty, gift, proprietary cards,) in your secure memory, which you control, and it is locked with their PIN so it is more secure than their leather wallet if it is lost or stolen. Loop is providing consumers the ability and the choice to securely store, organize and use the cards in your wallet.
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 on their servers. The track data contains additional information that your card issuer provides that authenticates that the data came from the magnetic stripe and not by keying in a number read from the card. PCI does not allow the storage of track data by third parties; Loop does not store track data. Loop 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 who store your card number on file for faster checkout. When you want to view the card number on the LoopWallet app, the app contacts our backend system, after you validate with your PIN and have logged in with your password, we decrypt and display the data for you for up to 60 seconds. You can also optionally store the CVV2/CID data from the card on your phone separately from the cloud. Since you are storing the CVV2/CID yourself, as the cardholder, you are not breaking PCI requirements. No card data is stored on your phone, it is just a 3 or 4 digit number in your phone.
The transmission between Loop and the POS reader is done over a very short distance (1 to 4 inches) and all done within a fraction of a second. Also, the transmission must be initiated by the user actively, and cannot be initiated by a separate reader like RF or NFC protocol, thus not susceptible to being "sniffed".
Loop 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. Loop leverages existing transmission means to add better security without the huge cost of changing merchant terminals and infrastructure.
Loop denies the storage of standard payment cards that do not match the LoopWallet account holder's name. Every Loop Device is linked to a single LoopWallet account holder, after the user swipes a card to store it, the encrypted data goes to Loop's server to be decrypted and a name match for the name on the track data is performed against the name of the account holder. If the name does not match, Loop denies the storage attempt and flags the event for security review. This is another one of the security barriers that Loop has implemented to protect cardholder information.
Note that for cards with BIN range (first 6 digits) that does not match standard payment cards, such as Loyalty and Gift Cards that have no names in the track data, Loop does not reject storing these cards. Most criminals are less interested in these cards because of the low value contained and it is easier to use existing "skimming" methods without getting traced by the LoopWallet system. Criminals will get less attention using fake plastic cards than using their phone to pay. Loop offers various ways to protect consumers cards and maintain vigilance against criminals that are trying to conduct fraud.
EMV is for plastic cards with contact chips to send data to the Point of Sale (POS) terminal. Loop is for mobile card transmission to the magnetic reader head via magnetic induction. The two systems use different transmission means. In the U.S., the vast majority of POS terminals can only accept magnetic stripe data, so even if you have an EMV chip card, the terminal will only accept the magnetic stripe data. That's why chip cards from the UK and Canada can work with US terminals.
In EMV countries like Canada and the UK, the EMV POS terminals will accept American magnetic stripe cards because the card has a U.S. service code. EMV credit card track data also has a service code on the magnetic stripe. For EMV countries where chip and pin is dominate means of transaction and the card does not have a U.S. service code, Loop can work with card issuers to issue a "mobile card" remotely which allows the EMV enabled POS terminals to accept the mobile card. For Canada, your Canadian EMV cards can't currently be used at a Canadian EMV POS terminal using Loop.
Note that Loop can help you store and organize all your mag stripe cards, including gift cards, loyalty cards, and custom branded cards; e.g. Starbucks are still mag stripe. These cards can be used in the LoopWallet. You can also use your cards in your LoopWallet for online purchases.
EMV 7816 interface is for plastic chip cards only, it does not facilitate eCommerce nor mCommerce. mCommerce needs a ubiquitous interface at the POS for acceptance. Everyone was trying to build a new interface on the POS, not realizing that this wireless ubiquitous interface happens to already exist on every POS, and already co-exists perfectly with EMV - it is the magnetic reader interface. Loop is the first company to invent a way to turn a magnetic stripe reader into a ubiquitous contactless interface. Loop's invention solves a huge problem to enable mobile phones to talk with POS terminals without any change at the POS and without a very long and very expensive POS migration path by merchants and acquirers. Card issuers can take advantage of Loop’s interface by issuing cards to mobile users that work at any POS terminal by emulating a magnetic stripe signal, and can even add tokenized security to the payload, that they decrypt, that is as secure as EMV.
For more background: EMV (7816 interface) is a chip card technology designed in France, first launched in 1989, has been a multi-decade effort to make plastic cards safer. It is doing so, although at a high price to upgrade terminals and cards which is one reason it has taken so many years for Europe to fully migrate, and even longer for the US and other places to adopt. EMV has done nothing for eCommerce during the past 15 years, nor can those EMV contact points on the POS accept mobile payments. NFC 14443 (an RF interface) was supposed to address that, but after nearly a decade only a single digit percentage of merchants that can accept NFC, again requiring a POS change. Changing tens of millions of merchant POS systems is very, very, very hard to do - George and Will know a little about this POS space first hand.
Loop has taken a different approach by using the reliable magnetic reader as a receiver. This interface requires no change to the hardware, the applications, the acquirer, the issuer, nor even clerk training (to our surprise, you saw the videos, with very minor exceptions which will change over time.) Frankly, Will and George were not sure this type of interface was possible, no one else has done this in our patent searches either, but Loop has solved the "last inch" problem. Loop enables new value to be delivered, better interactions between consumers, issuers, and merchants (like the Starbucks app, without the heavy infrastructure investment by every merchant). Loop also enables better security with dynamic tokenized data. This is just the beginning, and this interface currently co-exists with EMV and helps issuers leverage mobile without investing in new terminals.
Loop is a Level One PCI certified Third Party Processor, and Loop will continue to test its systems, which will include product penetration testing. The devices and secure memory is also highly secure and protects the card data in an encrypted format, unlocked only with keys injected in the secure memory. It is very difficult to break into the secure memory. Once the magnetic stripe data is stored, it can only be transmitted once you have authenticated yourself against the device. Your payment card data is safer in the Loop than in your leather wallet because you get to lock your LoopWallet with your PIN, and your phone is traceable via phone location services.
All card track data is stored Encrypted on the secure memory in the Loop ChargeCase and Loop Fob and protected by your PIN. The LoopWallet is designed to work like your real wallet where you are able to see your credit card information within the application after you enter your username and password to perform online purchases, etc. If you lost your phone you are more likely to recognize it being lost sooner than recognizing your leather wallet being lost, thus respond faster to cancel your cards. There is also an additional PIN that has to be entered to access the card in the LoopWallet. Finally, if you lose your phone you can track the location of your phone via phone location applications.
When you sign up for a LoopWallet account Loop performs an identity verification on you to ensure you are, who you say you are. Once verified, you can only add credit cards that have your name on them, contained on Track 1 of the magnetic stripe, which Loop uses to verify against the account holder’s name. The system will reject loading of a credit card that does not belong to you. For loyalty or gift cards that do not contain a users name, Loop can recognize the cards by the first 6 digit of the card (BIN range), and would accept these into the LoopWallet, however chances are criminals will likely have no incentive to “Skim” these type of cards.
“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 does not know where the data came from (it just shows up via electrical/magnetic signals), the POS device does not know the difference; and neither does the Acquirer nor the issuing bank. Using Loop to transmit the track data is the same as using a card swipe to transmit the track data; this is accepted as a Card Present transaction. No changes to merchant POS is required here.
What security prevents someone from using my Fob, and therefore, my default credit card if I lose it?
Within the application you are able to set a device lock timer to 10 minutes, one hour, 24 hours, or indefinite. If your Loop device is set for 10 minutes the button on the fob will be active for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes the card data is dropped from the Fob.
There is a user defined time limit that locks the FOB, once it is detached from the phone. Once the lock triggers you must plug your FOB into your phone and re-authenticate it. Some users have the timeout set to 0 seconds; never use in stand-alone mode. Others have the time limit set to indefinite; which is equivalent to having a credit card in your wallet.
Some merchants ask to see the actual card (normally to get verify the last 4 digits), how does Loop handle this?
You will be able to show the last four digits of the card number within the LoopWallet application. Once the clerk adds the four digits into the POS terminal the transaction is processed. Show them your digital card in the application, this will do the trick.
Beyond the initial cost of the Fob or ChargeCase, there are no additional hidden fees for your LoopWallet as a consumer. There are no per transaction fees or recurring cost. The LoopWallet application will be available for free.
Currently our application does not support identity verification outside of the United States. We are currently working to expand our identity verification in other countries. When we ship a device to you we expect it to work, and it is against our principles to ship you a device that is not properly supported or exposes you to unnecessary risk. Our website and our newsletter will be updated with our international rollout plans. Thank you for your support!
The fob battery will power 300 transmissions before needing a recharge. At 5 transactions per day, the battery will last for about two months. The Loop Wallet application (which runs on the phone) shows the battery level (0 to 100%). An automatic recharge prompt appears when the battery is down to 20% capacity (60 transactions remaining). Battery charging is accomplished via a micro USB cord and requires 100 mA of charging current. A full charge takes 80 minutes.
Loop has filed multiple patents to include magnetic transmission of card data signals from a distance (about 40mm) to a standard POS card reader, and the associated security and storage protocols to make this kind of mobile wallet solution viable.
A: Hi, this is Will Graylin, I'd like to share some of my observations and best practices from personal experience paying with Loop at over 750 merchants the past 6.5 months, (I'm closing in on 1,000 transactions total, might be a record for paying at merchants by phone in the wild, at least for now.) I have used Loop at consumer facing and merchant facing terminals, restaurants, bars, mobile terminals, vending machines, parking lot attendees in a booth, etc. Here are some use cases and what I normally do and see.
1. When checking out, the first thing I normally do is tell the clerk which card I'm about to use - "I would like to use my Amex", or Visa, my Starbucks/Dunkin Card, etc. Some POS terminals need the clerk to select card type on the POS first, and some merchants don't accept Amex, so tell them the card you're using.
2. Then they are expecting me to swipe, or hand them a card, then I say "Want to see something cool?" (of course, who wouldn't?) then I tell them "I'm going to pay with my phone, watch this..."
3. At this time, they'll either let me proceed, or they'll say something like "Our terminals don't accept that yet, it's old", and I'll say, "you may be surprised with this new technology, let me show you."
4. Then I put the Loop logo on the swipe slot and press send. Customer facing like CVS, BestBuy, Target, are simple. Clerk facing terminals like Starbucks, or Dunkin, I just reach over like you see in the video with my ChargeCase or Fob, place it to the middle of the slot and press send. Most of the time, one press is enough, sometimes 2 or 3 presses are required.
5. The vast majority of the time, the clerks are just surprised and delighted, (most have never seen it work at their terminal.)
6. Some terminals like Best Buy, Radio Shack will ask for your last four digits to reduce skimming fraud. You can show them the last 4 on the screen. If they ask for ID, just flip the ID up from the bottom of the screen inside the application.
7. If it is at a restaurant: I tell the server when I am ready to leave, and that "I would like to pay at the cash register if you don't mind", they always take me there and ring up my table, and I pay with Loop on the swiper of those Micros or Radiant type terminals.
8. If I'm sitting at a bar, I just instruct the bar tender to take my Phone or Fob to place it against the swiper and press the button or screen. They totally don't expect it to work but have never refused to try it. We need to create a 5 - 10 sec video on the App to show clerks where to place Loop and press.
9. I hope these anecdotes help. The first few times, I was a bit unsure, but after a few successful transactions, it becomes easy. I still enjoy seeing clerk reactions.
If you have questions, don't hesitate to let us know. Thanks again for your support!
We are exploring partnering with other ChargeCase manufactures to produce Android versions. Obviously the S4 is a popular model that we know is in high demand. We are working toward delivering different models in the first quarter of 2014. Please message us with other models that you may be interested in.
We recommend that you carry a legal ID with you at all times. We don't want to see you get in trouble.
Yes. You will receive your Fob in December, and your ChargeCase will be mailed separately in February.
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