Samsung Electronics is trying to add simple payment functions to its smart watches. By the earliest, Samsung Electronics might reveal a simple payments-enabled smart watch at Mobile World Congress (MWC) 2015, the world’s biggest mobile exhibition to be held early next year.
According to the related industries on Sept. 17, Samsung Electronics, together with global financial transaction service PayPal, is preparing to install the mobile payment function using a biometric identification sensor including fingerprint verification into its third-generation smart watch to be released next year.
A high-ranking official at Samsung Electronics commented, “We are currently developing the smart watch equipped with fingerprint identification technology and relevant solutions through cooperation with PayPal, the world’s most renowned financial transaction service company, as well as Synaptics, a global company specialized in biometric verification. By the earliest, the third generation smart watch to be released early next year will have this new system in which payment is authorized immediately when users identify themselves through biometric sensors such as a fingerprint or login.”
The simple payment system provides users with promotional information of stores nearby based on the current location of users. Then users can choose products before actually entering the stores and make payments upon the receipt of the purchased products.
Transaction information and account balances can also be checked through text messages. Samsung Electronics plans to expand the service from 25 countries currently to over 50 countries worldwide. Since this service cannot be used in Korea, as the PayPal payment system has not been introduced yet, Samsung Electronics is considering bringing in a similar service internally.
Samsung Electronics’ movement to install the simple payment function in its smart watch are analyzed to compete against Apple.
According to foreign press, Apple will release its first wearable device, the Apple Watch, early next year. It will include a payment system using a skin contact sensor, not the fingerprint identification system to be utilized by Samsung. If users of the Apple Watch enter a PIN at their initial trial and the Apple Watch touches the skin afterwards, four lenses made of sapphire materials verify users, allowing them to log in and make payments.
At present, Synaptics is the leading and most active global company in the payment market through biometric verification such as fingerprints.
Synaptics already established the “Fast Identity Online Alliance,” an international industry consortium for biometric identification, and is leading it. Members include major financial institutions such as PayPal, Bank of America, Visa, Samsung Electronics, Microsoft, Google, and LG.
Through biometric identification applications jointly developed by member companies, global card companies including Visa and Mastercard and major financial institutions including PayPal and BOA are synchronized in one network.
Regarding this, Richard Bergman, CEO of Synaptics, said, “Since last year, we have been focusing on developing “swipe type” technology through which user verification is done upon swiping the fingerprint on A screen, together with Samsung Electronics and PayPay. However, starting from the second half this year, we will concentrate more on developing the area type payment system, which can work within a limited range such as with wearable devices. Wearable devices with fingerprint verification and relevant solutions will be released early next year.”