In what appears to be a move to make its fingerprint scanner popular, Samsung has announced that it will be making this feature accessible to developers who may want to develop apps that will make use of it. This is in contrast to Apple’s iPhone 5S fingerprint scanner which the company restricts developers from using.
Samsung has released the Pass API as part of the Galaxy S5 development kit which will allow developers to replace typing in of passwords on their app with biometric data. The company explains that “Pass allows you to use fingerprint recognition features in your application. With Pass, you can provide reinforced security, since you can identify whether the current user actually is the authentic owner of the device.”
PayPal, one of the world’s leaders in online money transfers, is the first company to team up with Samsung on the fingerprint scanner feature of the S5. Owners of the Galaxy S5 will be able to login to the PayPal app on their device using only their fingerprint instead of typing in the password.
Samsung has not announced what security measures are in place for the fingerprint scanner. The company recently became a member of the Fast Identity Online Alliance which ensures mobile security which shows that they are serious with the security of this new feature. The difference between the fingerprint scanner of the iPhone 5S and the Samsung Galaxy S5 is that Apple stores the fingerprint data in a secure location within the processor of the 5S and is not sent to the servers of the company. This makes it impossible for third party app developers to use this feature.
PayPal on the other hand said that it will still be conducting the usual anti-fraud checks on the accounts. If for example an account bought a smartphone in California just 5 minutes after booking a hotel in Miami then this will raise red flags. The company also said that if for example the S5 gets stolen or lost customers can simple call them to de-register the device.
Is the fingerprint scanner a more secure solution in authenticating with a mobile device? Samsung agrees that it is since there is a greater chance of breaking a passcode than by coming up with a matching fingerprint.