Now that the iPhone’s Touch ID fingerprint recognition has given a big boost to mobile biometric authentication, there’s just one problem for mCommerce merchants: Apple is Apple, Android is Android, and there’s no sign that they’ll converge on a standard way to do mobile online payments any time soon. (In fact, they’ll probably use patents to prevent competitors for using the same technology.)
That leaves an opening for a startup like Sekur Me, which announced on Wednesday (Feb. 25) that its mobile payment app can now use Touch ID or Samsung’s fingerprint scanner for mCommerce checkout, as well as for authenticating mCommerce customers in the first place.
On the user’s side, the iOS or Android app does what users expect from any one-click checkout system: Instead of requiring shoppers to fill out forms with information like payment card number and shipping address, the information is securely stored and shoppers just have to click or tap. Sekur Me’s difference is that the tap is on the fingerprint scanner, which both authenticates the user and authorizes the transaction in about five seconds, and it’s designed to work across multiple mobile platforms.
For merchants, that means only having to integrate a single biometric authentication system — Sekur Me’s — instead of one for Apple devices, one for Samsung’s fingerprint-scanner-equipped phones, and one for each of however many other competing Android systems show up before they eventually begin to converge. The Sekur Me app functions as a secure middleman between the user and the merchant.
For cases where the phone doesn’t have a fingerprint scanner, the company’s FonePrint technology can also use a device’s unique combination of hardware characteristics as a virtual fingerprint for one factor in the authentication process.
The technology can also be integrated into other Apple and Android apps for frictionless secure login. Sekur Me has also released what it calls the Sekur eHealth solution, a version that’s specifically designed for the health care industry.
“With Sekur eHealth, there is nothing to steal,” Sekur Me CEO Jack Bicer said in a prepared statement. “Our eHealth solution does not contain any PII [personally identifiable information] or PHI [personal health information].” It also conforms to federal HIPAA requirements and the HITRUST healthcare-industry security framework, as well as the payment industry’s PCI Data Security Standards.