Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) took a step toward advancing mobile payments by opening up the Touch ID fingerprint sensor on the iPhone to third-party app developers.
Apple announced the initiative at its annual worldwide developer conference (WWDC). Touch ID got just a brief mention but this particular piece of news has the power to transform mobile payments and finally advance nascent mobile wallet technology.
CEO Tim Cook demonstrated Touch ID with personal finance management tool Mint, touting biometric's improved security over manually entered passwords.
There was no mention of payments, but wider use of Touch ID could advance mobile payments, as the features had previously been limited to Apple's own App Store and iTunes downloads. Already developers are quick to announce new mobile payment programs.
Just a few hours after Cook's announcement, CardFlight, a provider of mobile POS technology, said it will incorporate Apple's Touch ID technology into their SwipeSimple mobile payments application. Launched earlier this year, SwipeSimple is a turn-key solution that empowers credit card processors, merchant service providers, ISOs, agents and other resellers to offer a mobile point of sale to their merchants.
The SwipeSimple product offering includes native smartphone and tablet applications that allow merchants to accept credit card payments via their mobile devices. Following Apple's release of iOS 8, merchants will be able to login to the SwipeSimple application by using their fingerprint and Apple's Touch ID technology.
SwipeSimple may have been the first app to announce Touch ID integration, but it will be the first of many to incorporate the tech for payment purposes.
Apple to debut smart home platform based on iBeacon
Apple confirms Beats deal worth $3B
Biometrics, BLE help modernize POS systems
Apple is getting serious about mobile payments
Mobile payments, in-store tracking among key trends to watch