USA sees first fingerprint-enabled NFC payment

08/03/2011 10:14

PlanetBiometrics:  They are some of the hottest technology buzzwords around, so it's little wonder that technologists are salivating at the prospect of the coming together of Near Field Communications (NFC), biometrics and mobile wallets.

NXP, AuthenTec and DeviceFidelity claim to have completed the first fingerprint-enabled NFC payment transaction in the USA. Together the companies hope to create solutions that transform today’s smartphones into highly secure mobile wallets.

Reference designs created by the companies are expected to help mobile phone OEMs and wireless carriers address the growing demand for NFC-capable smart phones, which are forecast to grow to nearly 300 million units worldwide by 2014, according to Juniper Research.

“Security is often cited as the biggest impediment to the broad adoption of mobile wallets, and we believe our jointly developed NFC reference designs will give consumers greater confidence that mobile wallets are not only an easier way to pay but are much more secure than other means,” said AuthenTec CEO Larry Ciaccia.

The landmark transaction in the USA was made possible via a Motorola ATRIX 4G smartphone equipped with AuthenTec’s AES1750 smart fingerprint sensor and DeviceFidelity’s In2Pay microSD card based on NXP’s secure NFC solution. The quick, convenient and secure mobile payment was conducted when the demonstrator swiped a finger over the smartphone’s fingerprint sensor, authenticating him as the pre-enrolled account owner and quickly launching a credit card app. Following authentication the user simply tapped the ATRIX smartphone against a payment terminal.

NXP, AuthenTec and DeviceFidelity plan to collaborate further on additional, similar NFC-based designs to help enable broad proliferation of mobile wallets in the U.S. and other regions.

Henri Ardevol, vice president and general manager, secure transactions, NXP Semiconductors. “The fingerprint transaction shows how future mobile transactions may become increasingly convenient through the use of NFC and biometrics."

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