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Samsung pushes Wallet for biometric payments, IDs; Apple allows mDLs in its Wallet

Samsung pushes Wallet for biometric payments, IDs; Apple allows mDLs in its Wallet

Samsung has released its Wallet, merging its Pay with Pass apps to combine biometric payments, digital IDs and keys into one platform secured with fingerprint recognition. Likewise, Apple will allow U.S. residents of participating states to carry their mobile driver’s license or state ID on the iPhone and Watch as part of its latest iOS release.

Wallet pulls in payments, keys, IDs

Samsung has announced the launch of Samsung Wallet for Galaxy phones.

Previously reported in February, Wallet stores payment, loyalty and membership cards; passwords; mDLs; student IDs; vaccination records; and keys to buildings and cars. It also folds in Pay, the company’s touchless payment option that requires a fingerprint scan to verify identities.

Protection is provided by Samsung’s Knox, which uses fingerprint biometrics and encryption to guard against unwanted intrusions.

Apple accepts state IDs in iOS 16

Apple will allow its customers in participating U.S. states to add their mDLs and state IDs to Wallet as part of the iOS 16 update, according to MacRumors.

The Wallet app is available on the iPhone and Watch. Storage of the documents will give their holders the chance to prove their identity and age for other apps that require an age or identity verification.

MacRumors reports users will be given the option to offer their driver’s license or state ID for verification when opening an app and will require authorization with Face or Touch ID, the two biometric verification options.

Already Arizona and Maryland accept the documents in Wallet, and eight other states have expressed interest.

But is this all happening too slowly?

Eric Egan, a policy fellow for e-government at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation, writes in an opinion piece that governments must move faster.

Egan says he considers physical wallets obsolete, noting the growth of mDLs in states like Arizona, Utah and Colorado. Yet Colorado residents are still asked to carry physical licenses and Arizonans are restricted to only using an mDL at Transportation Security Administration checkpoints in an airport, thus negating much of an mDL’s potential.

He argues states’ concerns about privacy and security are “misguided.” Digital IDs are compartmentalized and more secure than physical credit cards. There are also biometrics and encrypted communications with Wallet, Egan adds.

To accommodate the 85 percent of Americans who own smartphones, Egan says state agencies and federal legislatures should “fully embrace mDLs.”

At the state level, he recommends pushing awareness programs about the benefits of mDLs while being transparent about security risks. On the federal level, he says Congress should enact legislation that encourages mDL adoption and establish funding channels or grants for states to upgrade their digital ID infrastructure.

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