iPhone 5S's rumored fingerprint sensor could spur biometrics for mobile payment security, says Frost

Advanced biometrics could use personal 'magnetism' to verify ID

The rumored inclusion of a fingerprint sensor in the next iPhone should accelerate the use of biometrics to secure mobile payments, concludes Jean-Noel Georges, global program director for ICT in financial services at Frost & Sullivan.

Rumors have been swirling that Apple's (NASDAQ: AAPL) iPhone 5S, due out this fall, will include a fingerprint sensor. According to Mark Gurman with 9-to-5 Mac, the new iPhone is expected to include the fingerprint sensor in the phone's home button.

"Protecting the mobile device itself is a first step, necessary to secure mobile payments. Although a personal identification number (PIN) can do the job, in 2011 more than 60 percent of smartphone users were not using a PIN to protect their mobile access," Georges noted.

The Frost analyst added: "The time is now right for biometric technology to emerge as a secure solution for mobile applications that require high levels of security, particularly payment. From a pure-payment security point of view, biometrics has already delivered significant advantages."

In Europe, the Mobile Biometry (MOBIO) project in Europe is developing advanced biometric technology for personal mobile device authentication. According to the project's website, MOBIO will "focus on multiple aspects of biometric authentication (ranging from research to development and scalability) based on face and voice authentication" technology already included in today's smartphones.

In addition, Natural Security has developed a biometric point of sale product based on a fingerprint reader, which connects to a contactless card to verify that the personal data matches the information stored on the card.

Georges wrote that other projects are working on advanced biometrics technology, such as using an individual's personal magnetic field as a biometric signature.

"We expect to see biometrics becoming increasingly prevalent over the course of the next 3-4 years, driven by a desire among vendors and consumers alike to be better protected when accessing mobile services," he said.

For more:
- check out the Frost release
- read the 9-to-5 Mac article
- see the MOBIO website

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