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Samsung Galaxy S5 is the first to support PayPal's new fingerprint-authorized payments

Samsung Galaxy S5 will be the first to support PayPal's new fingerprint-authorized payments

While the iPhone 5 uses its fingerprint reader to unlock the device and pay for apps or music in Apple’s iTunes store, owners of the Samsung Galaxy S5 will be able to make much broader use of their fingerprint scanner when the handset launches on April 11. For example, only Galaxy S5 owners will be able to use their handset's fingerprint scanner to pay for things.

If they visit a website or app that accepts PayPal using the device, they can authorize payments by swiping a finger across the phone’s home button. And PayPal’s own mobile app can be used to pay for goods in some physical stores in the U.S.

This particular payment system is the first commercial implementation of a new authorization protocol developed by the FIDO Alliance, a security group of technological companies that include BlackBerry, Google, Lenovo, MasterCard, Microsoft, and PayPal. The protocol is designed so that a record of your fingerprint is never transmitted to an outside party. Instead, data from the fingerprint reader is used to generate a cryptographic key which is combined with a second key from the device’s cryptographic chip to make a third key. This way, the final key can’t be used to somehow "decode" the fingerprint that was used to generate it.

The Galaxy S5 is the first and only consumer device so far that supports PayPal’s FIDO-based authorization system. PayPal isn't saying when other devices will follow suit, but industry representatives assert that fingerprint readers will become ubiquitous in near-future smart-devices.

source - TechnologyReview
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