Samsung's plan to acquire LoopPay gives the mobile phone maker a technology that can reach more merchants faster than Near Field Communication (NFC), the technology used by Apple Pay and Google Wallet.

The move, announced today, is especially striking given that Samsung has long built NFC into its handsets for other purposes, and thus would not have to wait for its customers to upgrade their phones to use an NFC wallet. Apple, by contrast, built NFC only into iPhone 6 models, which came to market late last year. 

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