PayPal adds fingerprint verification, wearables to mobile payments program

PayPal (NASDAQ: EBAY) and Samsung are collaborating to bring biometric payments to mobile and are developing a payment application for wearables.

Samsung unveiled its Gear 2 smartwatches at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona Monday. PayPal will be the first payment provider on wearable devices. The PayPal app will allow Gear 2 owners to check-in to pay at local stores, save and redeem offers, and receive payment notifications while on the go.

PayPal debuted the app in a video touting its simplicity and safety.
Additionally, PayPal is enabling biometric payments on Samsung's Galaxy S5. Shoppers can login and pay with a fingerprint at any retailer that accepts PayPal. The new secure, biometric feature eliminates the need for passwords.

PayPal will be the first global payments company to support Samsung's mobile fingerprint authentication technology.

"We spearheaded the Fast IDentity Online Alliance last year and predicted that the industry would soon move beyond passwords, and this announcement brings us one step closer to that reality," said Hill Ferguson, chief product officer for PayPal. "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."

FIDO Ready software on the device securely communicates between the fingerprint sensor on a device and PayPal's service in the cloud. The only information the device shares with PayPal is a unique encrypted key that allows PayPal to verify the identity of the customer without having to store any biometric information on PayPal's servers.

Starting in April, PayPal fingerprint authentication on the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be available in 26 markets globally, including Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, the U.K. and the U.S.

PayPal has been rapidly expanding its reach into mobile. In September, it unveiled a revamped app with an order-ahead capability and a proprietary beacon device to rival Apple's iBeacon.

For more:
-See this PayPal video
-See this PayPal and Samsung press release

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