Forget Fingerprints – Pay With Iris Authentication

Now the eyes really do have it. NTT DoCoMo’s new smartphone uses iris authentication to unlock the phone – and OK mobile payments.

The phone, Arrows NX F-04G, was unveiled yesterday (May 13) in Tokyo, according to PC World. It uses scanners to recognize the iris, and its unique patterns. The phone is priced at about about 55,000 yen ($460) and thus far will be made available only in Japan.

The phone, manufactured by Fujitsu, works with authentication specifications set by the FIDO (Fast IDentity Online) Alliance. That alliance is in turn supported by Microsoft, Google, PayPal and others, PC World reported. The iris scanner itself is based on a prototype unveiled two months ago at Mobile World Congress.

Some analysts believe iris recognition may ride a strong wave of adoption due to security concerns (and, in the case of the Arrows phone there is no need to remember a password). SRI International said a year ago that iris recognition may become a standard in authentication tech.

Users register their irises with the phone by staring into two animated circles, which are in turn part of an app. The pattern is stored in the phone itself. To unlock the phone using the iris technology, users must hold up the phone and gaze into the screen. Mobile payments also use the animated circles to confirm users.

The Fujitsu prototype incorporates an algorithm developed by California-based Delta ID. Fujitsu clocked the error rate for the prototype at about one in 100,000.



The pressure on banks to modernize their payments capabilities to support initiatives such as ISO 20022 and instant/real time payments has been exacerbated by the emergence of COVID-19 and the compelling need to quickly scale operations due to the rapid growth of contactless payments, and subsequent increase in digitization. Given this new normal, the need for agility and optimization across the payments processing value chain is imperative.

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