Among the melee of other announcements at Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC), the company said iOS 8 will include an API for Touch ID, the fingerprint sensor on the iPhone 5s.
Currently the Touch ID technology only allows users to unlock their handset and authenticate purchases on iTunes or the App Store. But iOS 8 will open the scanning technology up to developers.
Almost immediately, mobile point-of-sale tech firm Cardflight said it will incorporate Touch ID into its Sideswipe mobile payments application.
The firm referenced a tweet by Benedict Evans, partner at Andreessen Horowitz, which said: “83 per cent of iPhone 5s owners use fingerprint scanner. Now there’s an API. Obvious move. Implications for payments.”
Sideswipe enables the likes of credit card processors to offer a mobile point-of-sale service to merchants.
Updating to Apple’s fingerprint technology will enable merchants to log into Cardflight’s application by using their fingerprint rather than entering email address and password.
Another suggestion was made by Re/code which said Apple could enable fingerprint access to payments apps such as PayPal, within a third-party shopping app.
The mention about Touch ID came up during the event’s keynote address by Craig Federighi, Senior Vice President of Engineering and head of OS X and iOS.
Elsewhere, the headline news from WWDC revolved around connected homes and health.