PayPal (NASDAQ: EBAY) has begun enabling consumers to pay at any retailer that accepts PayPal on its mobile commerce website with just the swipe of a finger.
The company has unveiled a new partnership with Samsung to enable a fingerprint-recognition checkout feature. When a Samsung user links her fingerprint to her PayPal account, the Samsung device scans the fingerprint and generates a unique number based on three identifying factors: the fingerprint, the device and an encryption key from PayPal. PayPal will authorize the transaction only if the encrypted number sent from a device matches what PayPal has stored for that consumer.
To close out the transaction, PayPal displays a Review Order page where consumers press OK without ever having to type in payment information using the keyboard.
"We've spent a lot of time over the years building trust with retailers and building a better mobile checkout experience for retailers," Joel Yarbrough, PayPal's senior director of global product solutions who led the biometrics team, told Internet Retailer. "The fingerprint scanning feature addresses both of those things, providing a super-secure experience and a delightful buying experience that will increase retailers' conversion rate on smartphones, where conversion has been lower than on tablets and desktop computers."
Currently, the service is only available on the Samsung Galaxy S5 smartphone. Samsung employs hardware from Synaptics Inc. and software from Nok Nok Labs Inc. for its biometric authentication capabilities.
PayPal is offering special deals through retailers such as Abercrombie & Fitch (NYSE: ANF), Foot Locker (NYSE: FL), Target (NYSE: TGT) and TOMS Shoes for users who download and pay with the new biometric checkout feature.
PayPal has been a strong segment for eBay, which said last week it will continue to expand its payment technologies and initiatives. The company is planning to add more in-store PayPal digital wallet partners, which will allow shoppers to order and pay ahead and skip the line in-store. PayPal was once again eBay's strongest segment in the most recent quarter, growing net total payment volume by 27 percent and revenue by 19 percent year-over-year.
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