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The Green Sheet Online Edition

August 11, 2014 • Issue 14:08:01

The Mobile Buzz:
On the pulse of biometric security

Many insiders agree the future success of mobile commerce rests on the security of transactions initiated by consumers on their mobile devices. Mobile payment firms around the world are testing and implementing consumer authentication technologies that leverage the physical characteristics of those consumers, with a primary focus, at least for now, on fingerprints.

In a white paper titled 6 Companies doing Amazing Things with Biometric Payments and Authentication, mobile payment news service Let’s Talk Payments collaborated with research and consultancy Knowledgefaber on a survey of biometric initiatives going on worldwide.

  1. Zwipe Access Card: Oslo, Norway-based Zwipe AS teamed with Fingerprint Cards AB of Gothenburg, Sweden, for a biometric-based access card that uses fingerprint touch sensors. Fingerprint data is stored on a chip embedded in the card. A positive match between the stored data and the consumer’s fingerprint activates encrypted communications with a lock or reader. Only the owner of the card can activate it. The access card was launched in December 2013.
  2. Teasy mobile solution: Nigeria-based Teasy International Co. Ltd. (Teasy Mobile) will be equipping merchants with near field communication (NFC) -enabled contactless VeriFone VX520 POS devices. Merchants key in transaction details and consumers tap NFC functional smartphones on POS devices to initiate transactions. Biometric data can be used for additional security for certain transaction values. VeriFone Mobile Money, a joint venture between VeriFone Inc. and Mobilis Networks Ltd., is providing Teasy Mobile with the mobile wallet solution.
  3. PayPal app: At the Mobile World Congress 2014 held in Barcelona in February, Samsung unveiled the Galaxy 5S smartphone that leverages NFC and biometric security to allow PayPal Inc. digital wallet users to make contactless payments at merchants who accept PayPal online or at the physical checkout. Additionally, the PayPal app functions on Samsung's Gear 2 "wearable device" watches. The watches will go on sale in April 2015.
  4. Biyo solution: At the January 2014 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Biyo LLC (formerly PulseWallet) debuted technology that allows consumers to store fingerprint data via countertop devices in merchant locations. But Biyo later admitted the technology could be subject to fraud and converted to another solution that combines data from palm vein patterns with fingerprint data. Once that data is captured, users swipe palms at the POS and enter phone numbers to make transactions.
  5. PayTango: Four Carnegie Mellon University graduates founded biometric software startup PayTango to implement fingerprint scanning technology at the POS. Scans of index and middle fingers are linked to debit or credit cards. The entire enrollment process is completed in approximately 20 seconds, while payments take about 6 seconds, according to PayTango. Payments are made by scanning fingerprints, freeing consumers from having to swipe plastic cards at the POS.
  6. BarTong app: In October 2013, Korea-based payment service provider Danal Corp. partnered with biometric technology firm CrucialTec Corp. to create BarTong. The fingerprint scanning technology, now available on Pantech’s VEGA LTE-A smartphone, works in tandem with the BarTong app to initiate contactless, NFC mobile payments at the POS.
end of article

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