Acer, the Taiwanese computer company whose inexpensive laptops have graced the desks of countless heavily-indebted college students, has announced plans to develop its own cloud-based mobile payment system using biometric security, according to a Want China Times article. It has recruited biometrics and data-encryption developer Egis Technology to help it in the undertaking.
The mobile payment system will work in conjunction with Acer’s Build Your Own Cloud (BYOC) online cloud platform, overseen by divisional president Maverick Shih.
“It is a critical part of authentication and making payments,” Shih said, in typical devil-may-care “Maverick” fashion.
Egis, another Taiwan-based firm, also has offices in Japan, China, and the US, and asserts that its products have been included in over 30 million PCs and mobile devices around the world. Its partnership with Acer follows Acer’s purchase of 7 million shares in online payment provider PChomePay last year – both clear steps in the direction of the mobile payment sector.
It’s a surprising move, given the kind of stiff competition already cornering the mobile payment market – most notably Apple, with its Apple Pay system, secured by its Touch ID fingerprint-scanning technology. But Acer may be able to carve out a niche in the lower end of the retail spectrum, perhaps offering a cheaper mobile payment service for smaller retailers; and in any case Egis’ technology could prove useful in the cloud-based healthcare applications Acer is already developing with Taiwanese healthcare partners Apex Medical Corporation and EBM Technologies.