MWC 2014: Samsung's Galaxy S5 takes mobile payments a step further

We did a comparison between the Samsung Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S5 yesterday, noting that the specification of the S5 was generally better, but the new features would probably be the key selling points. One of those was the option to buy with a swipe of the finger.

Samsung has teamed up with leading online payment company PayPal to make mobile shopping easy on the S5. Perhaps a little too easy for some, but the convenience really does push it ahead in this area.

Apple has a fingerprint sensor, but the biometric data it uses only resides on your phone and only works within Apple. The Samsung scanner doesn't stick biometric data in the 'cloud' either, instead it works with new FIDO Alliance authentication (Fast IDentity Online) and strong PKE encryption to authenticate their device and in turn, authenticate that for use on a network, of which PayPal is part. It's a world away from an old password system. In fact, FIDO is a large stride on from passwords.

FIDO is seen as the future by a range of companies, including the likes of Google, Microsoft, BlackBerry and MasterCard. But crucially, not Apple, which is happy to sit in its own 'closed' community despite its own system being reasonably compatible with FIDO. Maybe things will change over time.

That perhaps depends on how successful Samsung will be with its PayPal venture. On the face of it, the collaboration could be very popular. There are 143 million active PayPal accounts worldwide and chances are, if you use eBay, you probably have a PayPal account somewhere.

If you buy a Galaxy S5, you are probably going to try it out too, if only for novelty value. If it's easy and fun, you'll try it again. It might even become habit, which is what Samsung is banking on.

The one thing that could hold it back is that FIDO authentication. It needs to stay as water tight as promised. If there's even the hint of a security breach, the whole system and its future could be stopped in its tracks.

If it holds out, Samsung might just take the high ground when it comes to mobile payments. Apple will certainly be watching. As will a host of other phone manufacturers.

Source: Forbes

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