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Apple to placate EU by opening developer access to NFC scanning, Face ID

Google expands mobile biometrics implementation
Apple to placate EU by opening developer access to NFC scanning, Face ID

Apple’s tap-and-go mobile payments system, ID scanning and biometric capabilities should be available to rivals soon, with a report from Reuters saying European antitrust regulators could approve Apple’s offer by next month. The approval would conclude a four-year investigation by the European Commission into alleged attempts by Apple to thwart competition for its Apple Pay mobile wallet. It would also likely cancel the possibility of Apple facing substantial fines.

The tech giant first offered to make its tap-and-go near-field communication (NFC) technology available to rivals for use on non-Apple wallet systems on iPhones, iPads and other Apple devices. NFC scanning is also used by digital identity providers like Regula and Inverid for scanning ID documents with electronic chips.

Apple also offered to open up additional functionalities to developers, such as authentication through Face ID biometrics, defaulting for preferred payment apps, and a dispute settlement mechanism. A round of feedback from rivals and customers asked for some of the terms to be modified.

Now, final technical details are being ironed out, and the EU is likely to formally accept the offer before summer.

Google Wallet, Google Pay get biometric authentication upgrades

An announcement from Google says it is adding a biometric payment authentication feature to its Google Wallet system. “Before making a payment, you’ll now be prompted to confirm your identity – either by PIN, pattern, thumbprint, or Class 3 biometric unlock with the option to turn off verification for transit fares,” says a statement posted to Google Wallet’s online help forums.

Enhanced biometric verification is also coming to Google Play. Android Police reports that Google has enabled the option to use biometric verification when making a purchase on Google Play, without having to re-enter a Google password. Users will be asked to verify every time they make a purchase, using either fingerprint or face biometrics. The option is designed to reduce the risk of unauthorized transactions.

In other Google news, the company seems unwilling to decide if it trusts its Wear OS watch platform as a secure host for Google Wallet. A report from 9to5Google says a PIN could be requested for additional user authentication before enabling tap-to-pay transactions with Wallet on Wear OS, which until now have just required the user to open the watch app and tap.

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