CNET First Look
The LoopPay ChargeCase: Paying anywhere with your phoneIt fits on your iPhone and works with any credit card reader: the Loop ChargeCase really works, but it's a bit clunky. Watch us pay for snacks.
[MUSIC] Hey. I'm Scott Stein, and I do not pay for things with my phone, generally. I use a wallet, but if you do feel like doing that, there are already a bunch of mobile wallet systems out there, but LoopPay has come up with a way to do it using any credit card reader. Sounds kinda like crazy hacker magic, right? Well, it's enabled with a magnetic loop that duplicates what a credit card does when it slides through a credit card reader. And, LoopPay does this with two different products: the LoopPay fob and the charge case. And, actually you get both in the system if you buy the charge case right now, which they're selling for $99. The charge case works with the iPhone 5s in five, and the fob word works with both Android and IOS. And, what does it do? Well, this has a magnetic loop inside that allows you to press a button here and beam a transaction when it's pressed against a credit card reader. Or, you use a loop wallet app on your iPhone. This is where the scanning happens. It actually has a square type credit card reader inside. You scan your credit cards, and plug it into your phone to transfer the information when scanned into the app. Or, you can actually detach this, and use it as it's own little payment center here. It's got it's own button, it charges up via micro USB, and will store a default card. So you can use this, hand it to a waiter, or pay for it around town. How does it work? Well, tried it at a bunch of places, bodegas, delis, gas stations, and it works. You have to hold it really close up to the reader. You can't hold it at a distance. And, if you're paying in a place where the cash register is behind the counter, you're gonna have to hand this over to them. And, the app itself, actually has a number of secure fail safe measures. There's a, a, a pin you have to enter every time you launch the app. The information is stored encrypted on the app. They say on the hardware itself. So, it's not stored anywhere else and you have to bond it to your phone, your phone number, and also to your particular loop device or charge case. If you swap those out or try using other people's credit cards, they won't read it, so there's some security in that. You can actually scan, not just your credit cards but your debit cards, your loyalty cards, your whatever you have that has a magnetic stripe. Now, getting a place to accept this, well, it will work, but somebody might still want to look at your id or to look at your original credit card. And, there are countries that usually use chip security or other types of methods for more secure payments. What will happen to Loop pay when those secure payment measures happen? Who knows? But, right now, this really does work with magnetic card readers wherever you may find them. And, if you went in on that, it costs $100 for the case, and again you get that fob included. It's intriguing technology although, the case it self feels a little bit thick and flimsy. It stores a battery charge on here that can charge your iPhone with a little lightning dongle, but, it's only 60% of a full battery charge. So, it's not really a Moke or other battery case type competitor. Interesting stuff for the future, though. Payments without payment systems. I'm Scott Stein, and that's the Loop ChargeCase and phone. [MUSIC]