Apple has unveiled a new TouchID API which will enable app developers to use fingerprint authentication for mobile payments and other applications. The forthcoming release of iOS 8 will include TouchID APIs allowing developers to securely authenticate users within apps, protect log-ins 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 facilitates the elimination of password protection across a range of applications, including payments. Apple’s senior vice president of software, Craig Federighi, stated that with the TouchID API, fingerprint data would remain stored on the user’s iPhone and not relayed to third-party developers.
In response, several mobile payment firms are expected to announce updates to their services, including enabling merchants and consumers to log in to their mobile payment app via a fingerprint scan using TouchID, in place of an email address and password.
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