Ellen DeGeneres used a Samsung smartphone to take the Oscars selfie that broke records for being retweeted 2.7 million times. But the new Galaxy S5 does more than take pictures. It lets people pay for purchases with the touch of a finger.
Samsung has partnered with PayPal to make the Galaxy S5 the first smartphone that lets people use it to make purchases via fingerprint authentication. Any merchant that accepts PayPal, either in-store or via mobile device, will be able to accept fingerprint payments from customers with the newest Samsung Galaxy device, which was introduced at the Mobile World Congress last week and heavily promoted during the Oscars telecast on Sunday night.
Moving beyond passwords
Instead of logging in with a username and password, people can access funds from their PayPal account by pressing their fingertip to the sensor on their smartphone. The Galaxy S5 uses FIDO Ready software to communicate with PayPal’s secure, cloud-based payment system. A unique, encrypted key lets PayPal identify customers without storing personal information on their servers or on the device.
Users wondering about the security of their fingerprints need not worry. Biometric data—the fingerprints themselves—will not be stored on the Samsung device nor in the PayPal data cloud.
PayPal is the first company to support Samsung’s mobile fingerprint authentication. When the new Samsung Galaxy is released in April, the technology will be available in 26 global markets including the United States, Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia and the United Kingdom.
Apple’s iPhone 5S also has a fingerprint sensor, but it can only be used to unlock the phone currently, and to pay for purchases through Apple’s App store. PayPal processes over 9 million payments a day and has 143 million active accounts. Millions of merchants, both online and brick-and-mortar, accept PayPal as a method of payment.
“Together with PayPal, we expect to provide our customers with a seamless and secure experience in the online shopping and payments on our new Samsung Galaxy S5,” said Hankil Yoon, Senior Vice President of Mobile Product Strategy at Samsung.