The latest version of the Square Cash app now allows users to utilise Touch ID on Apple devices. Transactions on the peer-to-peer service can now be authorised and authenticated with the fingerprint scanner, available on the iPhone 5s and both models of the iPhone 6. Square is not the first payment service to add the same Touch ID capabilities that Apple's own payment system boasts. The Google Wallet app added fingerprint capabilities on Apple devices at the close of last year too - however in Google's case, the transactions themselves are not authorised via a fingerprint scan, but access to the app can be set to use the Touch ID rather than a pin code.
I hope the trend continues and more services add Touch ID capabilities. It's not the security or payment aspect that I think is an encouraging trend, but the recognition of the role identity can play.
We believe here at Ensygnia that the strongest mobile solutions for payments, log-in, ticketing, loyalty or whatever it may be, will utilise identity as an integral component. In our eyes, your mobile phone is the perfect device to act as your authentication hub, and as such, mobile identity should be viewed as a strong asset in any payment, security or loyalty solution.
In particular, taking advantage of identity can allow for a comprehensive omni-channel experience, where a shop's online presence and brick and mortar store both instantly know who I am, what products I am looking for and what deals I am entitled to, regardless of my location.
The proliferation of Touch ID is perhaps, at the moment, more of a security improvement, but I think it helps prepare the way for solutions that recognise identity and utilise it to the max.
By Matthew Taylor 9th January 2015
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