LG Pay shuts down this year, leaving LG phones without magstripe payment support

LG announced in April that it was leaving the smartphone business, following years of poor hardware sales. The company promised that it would continue to support its existing phones with Android updates and security fixes, but at least one feature on some of its smartphones won’t be around much longer: LG Pay. The shutdown might not seem important, since Google Pay can be easily installed and works about the same, but it does mean select LG phones won’t be able to use magstripe payments anymore.

The website for LG Pay has been updated to mention that the service will be shut down sometime this year. “Thank you for being a valued customer of LG Pay,” the company says on the site. “We regret to inform you that LG Pay will be phasing out and discontinued over the remainder of 2021. More specific details will follow.”

The service first arrived in 2017 in LG’s home country of South Korea, but it took two more years for the service to arrive in the United States. Much like Samsung Pay, the service allowed you to pay with your phone using either NFC or the magnetic stripe reader on payment terminals. The latter feature would simulate a card swipe using ‘Wireless Magnetic Communications’ (WMC), as LG called it.

All phones capable of running LG Pay can also use Google Pay, which provides compatibility with more banks and cards and works the same over NFC, but Google Pay can’t use the WMC hardware on LG phones. However, NFC adoption continues to rise around the world, so this likely won’t be a problem for most people. Samsung recently stopped supporting magstripe payments on its flagship phones in the United States, due to the increased availability of NFC.

LG hasn’t provided a firm date yet for the shutdown of LG Pay, just that it’ll happen “over the remainder of 2021,” but there are only seven months left in the year.

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