LG Electronics is moving into the payment industry with its plans to launch a swipe payment system for product and service retailers in Europe. According to a Reuters (News - Alert) report, this launch could come as soon as next year. This move would allow consumers to make payments at the check-out using their smartphones.
Jin-Yong Kim, vice president for business solutions at LG's Home Entertainment division, told Reuters in an interview that this point-of-sale technology is currently in beta testing. It involves near field communications (NFC) and will be targeted at small and medium-sized businesses.
NFC chips exchange data between electronic devices at short distances. Such chips are being integrated in new generations of smartphones and tablet computers. Consumers can use the technology to swipe their hand-held device over an electronic reader at the check-out to directly pay for goods and services from their bank account.
Analysts with Frost & Sullivan (News - Alert) suggest that by 2015, there will be more than 860 million NFC-enabled mobile phones in use, and that NFC technology will be the most-used solution for mobile payment.
As the smartphone market continues to increase in importance for the overall mobile phone and TV maker, LG, the company will continue to expand its focus in this space. The company reported a record fourth-quarter operating loss this month, but does expect to report a first quarter profit by its entry into the high-end smartphone market.
Kim has not provided further details regarding the company’s point-of-payment equipment for mobiles, but did indicate that it will be integrated into the other LG systems in its business customers’ use including interactive TVs and security systems.
Current LG business customers operate in hospitality, corporate, retail, education, transportation and public sectors.
Founded in 1958 as Goldstar, LG also manufactures household appliances such as refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners.
Earlier this month, LG introduced a new 3D TV at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES (News - Alert)) in Las Vegas. The company highlighted plans to introduce the LW6500 at the International CES. It features a picture that has improved brightness and clarity, according to a company statement.
The company has also recently announced the LG Optimus 7, a phone with features like GPRS, URL, Bluetooth and more to coincide with the official unveiling of Windows Phone (News - Alert).This phone features the next generation Microsoft operating system and is currently available with contracts from all the major online retailers.
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