WeChat mobile payments gets fingerprint recognition with Qualcomm

Source: Qualcomm

Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) today announced that its subsidiary, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., is the first company to support hardware-backed biometric fingerprint authentication for Tencent’s WeChat mobile payment service.

This new fingerprint authentication, enabled by the Qualcomm Haven™ security platform’s authentication framework, means that users will be able to conduct online transactions on mobile devices using their fingerprint as the authentication method, instead of PIN codes or passwords.

The robust Qualcomm Haven authentication framework supports the SOTER protocol developed by Tencent for security authentication. This includes the fingerprint matching, processing, local storage, and communication to Tencent servers in the cloud. The technology is currently shipping in the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ All Mode powered Vivo X6 device in China, and will be available in multiple smartphones over the coming months.

“The Qualcomm Haven platform’s authentication framework supports convenient, robust security and the latest mobile payment standards,” says Sy Choudhury, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “Users can now simply rely on their finger, face, or eye for account access and conducting online transactions using their mobile devices - all while being reassured that each step of the process is being executed with hardware-level security. PIN codes and passwords, which are cumbersome and vulnerable to data theft, are no longer needed.”

“With more consumers embracing the use of online payment platforms through their mobile devices, we are strongly committed to enhancing the security features in our devices, as showcased in the VIVO X6 smartphone,” says Alex Feng, chief marketing officer, Vivo. “Through our strong relationship with Qualcomm Technologies and Tencent, we will continue our efforts to provide the very best security and user experiences.”

As with all Qualcomm Haven security solutions, the Qualcomm Haven authentication framework is based in hardware, protecting sensitive user data and biometric information independent of apps or the operating system. Even in the event of an operating system-level attack, protection is provided for information stored in hardware. Additionally, the Qualcomm Haven security platform is developed specifically for Snapdragon processors. This provides a unique ability to fully integrate Qualcomm Haven security solutions throughout the system, including both hardware and software, providing not only robust security, but also operating as efficiently as possible, maximizing performance and battery life.

WeChat is a leading social communication application developed by Tencent. WeChat provides a safe and convenient payment service for both users and merchants. WeChat had 650 million monthly active user accounts in and out of China as of September 2015. Secure biometric fingerprint authentication support for WeChat’s payment service is being made available in the Snapdragon 400, 600, and 800 processor tiers.

At Mobile World Congress, Qualcomm Technologies will be demonstrating support for secure WeChat payment service on the Snapdragon-powered All Mode Vivo X6 handset in booth number 3E10, Hall 3, Fira Gran Via. The company will also demonstrate additional Qualcomm Haven platform components including:

Qualcomm SafeSwitch™ - a hardware-based remote device lock and unlock solution that helps prevent device theft and protect user privacy. This will be demonstrated with AVG.
Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ Smart Protect - a behavioral-based anti-malware technology that utilizes machine intelligence to detect zero-day threats. Qualcomm Technologies will be demonstrating the combination of static and dynamic Android™ application threat analysis with Avast.
Qualcomm Snapdragon Secure User Interface technology - protects a user’s passwords, PIN code entry and user-interface via hardware protection, enabling scenarios such as secure PIN setup and log-in for applications such as those used for banking and enterprise-access.

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