Lotte, which pursues an omni-channel strategy that breaks down online and offline boundaries, now makes an attempt to innovate the mobile payment sector. “L.pay,” a mobile payment service provided by Lotte Group, has introduced a new payment method using “sound wave.”
Samsung Pay, which supports both the Magnetic Secure Transmission (MST) and the Near Field Communication (NFC)-based payment, Apple Pay, which is the NFC-based payment system, and Bluetooth Beacon are used as mobile payment technologies. However, L.pay is the first mobile payment service using sound wave.
According to retail industry sources on March 14, Lotte Group has used a new payment technology in L.pay. The new payment service will be test-operated at Lotte Super starting from the middle of April. L.pay, which was a barcode-based solution before, now allows users to make online and offline payments via mobile devices after entering credit card information into smartphones.
Lotte’s sound wave technology, which will gradually replace with the current barcode method from next month, has been developed by Mobidoo, an Inaudible Sound Transmission (IST) authentication and payment solution provider which was supported by Lotte Accelerator program. In short, the new technology sends necessary payment information from smartphones to payment terminals using sound waves that are well below the frequencies humans can hear.
For instance, under the current bar-code method, users have to open up an app and put up the barcode on the screen of smartphones and cashiers needs to scan the barcode to make payments. With the new technology, however, users can make payments by just opening up an app. So, it is simple and fast just like Samsung Pay.
In addition, Samsung Pay and Apple Pay can be only used with Samsung Electronics smartphones and iPhones, respectively, but L.pay can be used with any smartphones by downloading the app. Unlike the NFC, which requires an additional device, and barcode technologies, the new technology can be widely used as offline stores don’t have to install an additional device, according to Lotte.
Meanwhile, the competition in the mobile payment sector between retailers is expected to be more intense as Lotte has released L.pay with new technology.
Lotte launched L.pay in September 2015 after Shinsegae released SSG Pay the same year. Since then, retailers have been making an effort to take the lead in the mobile payment market. This is because more and more people are highly likely to be loyal customers when retailers provide simpler payment services. Also, retail giants, which have grown based on offline channels, are strengthening the mobile payment service to keep their customers even in the online and mobile markets.