Apple has announced a new Touch ID API which will allow app developers to use fingerprint authentication for mobile payments and other applications
Introduced by SVP Craig Federighi at Apple's big developer event in San Francisco, the forthcoming release of iOS 8 will include Touch ID APIs enabling developers to securely authenticate users within apps, protect logins and user data, and unlock keychain items.
Previously limited to unlocking an iPhone 5s and making purchases through iTunes and the App Store, the release of the new feature for third party software developers provides a logical progression for the removal of password protection across a range of applications, including payments.
Almost immediately after Federighi made his announcement, executives, bloggers and other pundits who cover the financial services industry began commenting about the implications for mobile payments. Benedict Evans, partner at Andreessen Horowitz said via Twitter:
Mobile POS firm CardFlight jumped on the news to announce an upgrade to its applications in support of the new technology as iOS 8 is released, scheduled for this fall. With the upgrade to CardFlight's SwipeSimple product, merchants will have the option to login to their mobile payment application via scanning their fingerprint using Touch ID, rather than entering the traditional email address and password.
"The proliferation of tablets and smartphones is rapidly changing the payments industry," says Derek Webster, founder and CEO of CardFlight. "We're proud to be at the forefront of that shift in bringing new and innovative mobile payment technologies to market."