Authentication & Security

Touch ID and other Payment Related Updates at Apple’s WWDC 2014

At Apple’s WWDC (Worldwide Developers Conference) this year, Software was king - with announcements such as that of iOS 8, Connected Home, Yosemite and even unexpectedly - Bitcoin - Cryptocurrency - Blockchain/Virtual Currencies. However, there was also a big new update that Let's Talk Payments had anticipated.wwdc1

At the WWDC 2014, Apple announced that Touch ID can now be used by third party apps. This basically means that authentication can now happen on device while the purchase can be made utilizing any app.

Apple has had a grand history of getting payments just right. According to Forbes, if Apple can capture 0.2% to 0.3% of payments ‘that could translate to billions if not tens of billions of high margin revenue’.

Apple SVP Eddy Cue has apparently been taking meetings with tech industry bigwigs and speaking about the company's "interest in handling payments for physical goods and services on its devices”, according to Wall Street Journal.

Bitcoin:

At the WWDC, Apple also announced that it will allow software and app developers to include virtual currency transactions in their applications. This is certainly a positive move both in terms of money as well as technology. However, the word 'Bitcoin' has not been mentioned in their new App Store Review Guidelines.

"Apps may facilitate transmission of approved virtual currencies provided that they do so in compliance with all state and federal laws for the territories in which the app functions," it states.

When Apple ejected their last Bitcoin Wallet - Blockchain - from the App store back in February 2014, they faced some serious flak from the Bitcoin, and Virtual Currency communities in general. There were cries of 'Ditch Apple' all over the web. This move may bring back some of that lost affection!

More about Touch ID:

  • Touch ID is using a new Secure Enclave as part of the A7 processor.  wwdc1
  • The data generated by Touch ID are encrypted and stored in this area but never sent over the Internet or to iCloud.
  • The Secure Enclave is a genius move by Apple as it fully discounts many fears that our fingerprints will be sent around the world.
  • In addition, the Secure Enclave plays a central point in Apple’s payment strategy.
  • To use Touch ID you will also have to create a passcode as a backup.
  • Only that passcode can unlock the phone if the phone is either rebooted (example full battery drain) or hasn’t been unlocked for 48 hours.
  • This is a genius feature that is meant to set a time limit for criminals if they try to find a way to circumvent the fingerprint scanner.

Watch this space for more payment related updates from WWDC 2014.

Chiraag Patel

Chiraag Patel is a Senior Reporting Analyst and the Editor of Bitcoin and Virtual Currency channels at Lets Talk Payments. He is an engineer with deep interest in MMORPG, Virtual Banking, Game Currency and Virtual Cash. Chiraag enjoys Reading& Blogging with focus on New Innovation, Technology & Startups in the Payments Space.

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