New Smartphone Offers PayPal Payments with the Swipe of a Finger (Feb. 25, 2014)
Owners of the new Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone soon will be able to make in-store payments via their PayPal accounts by just lifting—or rather, swiping—a finger. Announced at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, the collaboration makes PayPal the first global payments company to support Samsung’s mobile fingerprint authentication technology, and is yet another step in the payments giant’s recent push toward ubiquity.
Set to launch in April in 26 countries, including the U.S., U.K., Australia, Brazil and Russia, the service enables users to make payments at any online or brick-and-mortar merchant that accepts PayPal. There is no password or login required; users simply swipe their finger on the handset to connect to PayPal’s secure cloud-based wallet. The only information shared from the device is a unique encrypted key that enables PayPal to verify the identity of the customer. “[C]onsumers don’t need to face a tradeoff between security and convenience,” said Hill Ferguson, chief product officer, PayPal. “With a simple swipe of a finger, consumers can still securely log into their PayPal accounts to shop and pay with the convenience that mobile devices afford.”
Biometric security technology for mobile payments has been gaining ground. Last month, U.S. Bank announced it was testing a voice-based biometric mobile banking feature. And in September 2013, Apple Inc. unveiled a fingerprint-based security technology known as Touch ID, which can be used to unlock a phone’s screen and make iTunes purchases.
In other PayPal news, the company today announced a direct carrier billing relationship with Deutsche Telekom. The pact will enable the German-based telecom provider’s users to purchase digital goods, including e-books, music and in-game content, directly from their mobile devices, with no need to enter a password or financial information. In 2013, more than $9 billion in digital goods payment volume went through PayPal’s carrier payment network.