Mobile ID Industry News Roundup: Apple’s Big Announcement

This week at Mobile ID World  we kicked things off with a bang. On Tuesday, Apple took to the stage and announced to the world that it has officially partnered with Visa, MasterCard, American Express and six major banks to enable an NFC mobile wallet service called Apple Pay. The mCommerce solution leverages the Touch ID biometric function on both the new iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, while also allowing for payment via Apple Watch – the company’s new wearable.

The Apple announcement had the world talking about mobile payments all week. Nok Nok Labs, a founding member of the FIDO Alliance spoke in support of the new mobile payment solution, calling it a step in the right direction for Apple.

“We see today’s move by Apple as a significant step in the right direction towards modernizing online payments and addressing a major problem in today’s payment ecosystem using authentication as a key building block,” said Nok Nok Labs CEO Phillip Dunkelberger on Tuesday. “The last twelve months have seen acceleration in investments in mobile commerce and payments powered by strong and simple authentication and we expect Apple’s activities to add to the momentum.”

Mobile biometrics are quickly on their way to becoming a marture technology. This week we reported on new analysis from Frost & Sullivan stating that in 2013 the number of biometric smartphone users around the world was totaled at 43.23 million and that by 2017 that number is expected to grow massively as the devices exit the early adopter phase and reach 471.11 million users. Two years later, Frost & Sullivan predicts that biometrics will have reached a level of full maturity, having by then naturally migrated to mobile devices.

Another report, this one from Goode Intelligence, is calling biometrics a must-have feature on flagship smartphones. The white paper titled Mobile Voice Biometrics – Meeting the Needs of Convenient User Authentication explores the new standards and solutions used for authentication across a large range of electronic devices and how voice recognition is particularly bringing about the mobile promise of convenience and security. The report singles out AGNITiO’s Voice iD as an example of this kind of low friction, high security solution.

EyeVerify was also in the news this week, with Alliance Development Group (ADG) announcing that it played a role in the Kansas startup’s recent $6 million series A round of financing. Specifically, ADG – a company that aids other companies with China market expansion, business development and strategic investment – announced that it played a key role in facilitating the relationship between EyeVerify and Qihoo 360 during the investment dealings.

Finally, ImageWare Systems took home a first place Emerging Technology (E-Tech) Award from the Super Mobility Week trade show. Its GoMobile Interactive product scored the E-Tech award from CTIA – The Wireless Association, in the category of Mobile Money, Payments, Banking & Commerce. Mobile ID World president Peter O’Neill had the opportunity to interview Jim Miller, chairman and CEO of ImageWare about the win, moving past passwords and the growing mobile payments industry.

This coming week Mobile ID World is in Tampa, Florida, covering Biometrics UnPlugged and the Global Identity Summit. Be sure to follow us on Twitter so you don’t miss a beat.