MWC 2014: PayPal Is First Global Payment Company To Support Galaxy S5 Biometrics

Perhaps the biggest promise that the new era of mobile identity has been making over the past year has been an mCommerce revolution: the ability to easily pay for online purchases while keeping the transaction secure. Anyone who has found themselves on the verge of just forgetting about the designer t-shirts or special order computer peripherals after fumbling around a smartphone keyboard for fifteen minutes trying to enter their credit card info for the second time knows that there is a demand, and the FIDO Alliance has been promising a solution.

Well, the solution is here (almost). Yesterday, Samsung announced the release of its new flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, and with it the confirmation of an embedded fingerprint scanner in the home button. Immediately afterward, the exhausted Internet shoppers of the world let out a resounding cheer when FIDO Alliance founding member PayPal answered their prayers. Galaxy S5 users will be able to authenticate PayPal purchases with a swipe of their fingerprint.

The new Android smartphone will be available through all five major US carriers in April and 25 other markets worldwide.

Early adopters of the new Samsung smartphone will have the ability to literally pay for items and services with the tips of their fingers. PayPal’s secure service stores user information in the cloud, which is authorized for use by the FIDO Ready software on the Galaxy S5. No biometric data is stored on PayPal’s servers, which allow payment once an encrypted key from the Samsung device verifies the user’s identity.

“We spearheaded the Fast IDentity Online Alliance last year and predicted that the industry would soon move beyond passwords, and this announcement brings us one step closer to that reality,” saysHill Ferguson, chief product officer for PayPal. “By working with Samsung to leverage fingerprint authentication technology on their new Galaxy S5, we are able to demonstrate that consumers don’t need to face a tradeoff between security and convenience. With a simple swipe of a finger, consumers can still securely log into their PayPal account to shop and pay with the convenience that mobile devices afford.”

“We are very excited about our relationship with PayPal as it will bring one of the most trusted online payment solutions in the world to the broader mobile market,” said Hankil Yoon, senior VP of mobile product strategy at Samsung. “Together with PayPal, we expect to provide our customers with a seamless and secure experience in online shopping and payments on our new Samsung Galaxy S5.”

This is an exciting first step in the direction of the mobile commerce future constantly heralded throughout 2013 at conferences like Money 2020. PayPal is also said to have a physical POS solution in the works that will allow for a smartphone to authorize the purchase of goods in brick and mortar stores. There has been no news yet as to whether or not this Galaxy S5 functionality will be a part of this solution.