Samsung Galaxy S5 offers fingerprint security for safe shopping with PayPal

Samsung has introduced fingerprint-scanning security as standard into its new flagship Galaxy S5 handset – with Finger Scanner offering secure shopping via Paypal direct from the handset in stores and websites, with a finger-swipe replacing passwords. It also offers a biometric screen lock similar to that found in Apple’s iPhone 5S.

Samsung says, “Finger Scanner provides a seamless and safe mobile payment experience.” Paypal has announced that it is partnering with Samsung to use the biometric system for secure payments. The phone will not store passwords or login details, only a unique encrypted key, which is less vulnerable to theft, according to CNET’s report.

“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,” PayPal’s chief product officer Hill Ferguson said. “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.”

In a hands-on test, gadget site Pocket-Lint said that the process is extremely seamless, “Once PayPal is selected as the payment method, and it recognises a user with a registered print, all it takes is a digit swipe and you’ve paid. During our hands-on with the Galaxy S5, we described the process as “scarily easy, but effective”.

The smartphone also offers an NFC chip (Near Field Communications), a technology already used in some countries for point-of-sale terminals, and Samsung promises that more payment apps are coming, using the fingerprint scanner as security, according to The Guardian’s

Samsung’s scanner is positioned under the phone’s home button, and requires users to ‘swipe’ a fingerprint across it, in the manner of a traditional fingerprint scanner, rather than Apple’s which relies on users placing a finger on it.

Analysts saw the addition of fingerprint security as a ‘premium’ addition liable to lure in customers. Ernest Doku, telecoms analyst at uSwitch, said, “”Samsung appears to have cherry picked the most crowd-pleasing features available from other manufacturers – a fingerprint ID sensor and an attractive gold model like Apple’s iPhone 5S, a water and dust-resistant body like Sony’s Xperia Z2, and photography credentials to challenge the best from

The device will be available globally in April.

A poll conducted by networks company Ericsson late last year found that consumer enthusiasm for new forms of biometric ID may well be high in 2014, as reported by We Live Security here.
Based on data from 100,000 smartphone users, nearly three-quarters of those polled (74%) believe biometric smartphones will become mainstream in 2014 – and more than half of those polled were interested in the idea of fingerprint ID replacing passwords for card purchases online (50%), and in fingerprints being used in place of all internet passwords (52%).

Demand for secure payment systems in the US may also drive sales of such devices. Breaches such as Target’s leak of 40 million credit card details have led card issuers and banks to call for a replacement for the “hugely insecure” magnetic-stripe systems used by many U.S. banks, as reported by We Live Security here.

Author Rob Waugh, We Live Security

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