BBVA Launches Iris Scanning For Its App

Samsung Electronics, the South Korean consumer electronics giant, and BBVA, the Spanish bank, announced Monday (Nov. 20) a new iris scanning feature that will enable BBVA customers with Samsung-compatible smartphones to log on to the bank’s mobile app simply by looking at their smartphone’s display.

According to a press release, BBVA is the first Spanish bank to deploy Samsung’s biometric authentication technology. Dubbed Samsung Pass, the technology enables customers to bypass login and password authentication methods. The companies also said that iris recognition is considered to be one of the most secure forms of identity verification.

“BBVA’s goal is to deliver a fast and user-friendly browsing experience. Iris recognition not only provides agile and seamless access to the platform, but also offers an unparalleled level of cybersecurity,” said Raúl Navarrete, BBVA Spain’s head of mobile channels.

Samsung Pass is based on Fast Identity Online (FIDO) technology, which eliminates the need to input identifiers and passwords to launch a session. With Samsung Pass, mobile phone makers can provide the maximum level of protection via biometric authentication, whether it’s through fingerprints or iris scanning.

The deal between Samsung and BBVA comes along with high expectations that the use of biometrics to authenticate mobile payments will explode. This past spring, Juniper Research said the market is forecasted to reach close to $2 billion in 2017, up from $600 million last year.

Driving the movement to biometrics payments is Apple Pay, which paved the way for consumers to make payments in stores and on apps using fingerprints. Android Pay and Samsung Pay helped drive adoption further with their own biometrics capabilities, noted the report.

In addition, the growth of biometric payments is being fueled by the growing availability of fingerprint sensors on smartphones and tablets. Juniper found that around 60 percent of smartphones are expected to launch with fingerprint sensors this year. And it’s not only in high-end phones – Juniper found that Chinese manufacturers are including fingerprint sensors in mid-range smartphones as well.


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