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What Apple’s iPhone 5S Touch ID Means for Mobile Commerce

By Michael Essany | Small Business

What Apples iPhone 5S Touch ID Means for Mobile Commerce image 334296 touch id 2What Apples iPhone 5S Touch ID Means for Mobile Commerce

Apple has seemingly raised the bar for smartphone security through its introduction of a biometric fingertip scanner on the new iPhone 5S.

A first for the smartphone space, Apple’s Touch ID is touted as the most convenient and secure means to unlock the iPhone ever devised.

Located in the iPhone 5S’s home button, Touch ID scans and identifies a user’s unique fingerprint thereby creating s viable and superior alternative to traditional password protection.

Best of all, Apple contends, fingerprint information is encrypted and stored in the Secure Enclave inside the A7 chip on the iPhone 5s. Simply put, it’s never placed on Apple servers or even saved to iCloud.

Without question, the deployment of a cutting edge fingerprint scanner on Apple’s flagship smartphone couldn’t come at a more appropriate time.

What Apples iPhone 5S Touch ID Means for Mobile Commerce image 334291 profileWhat Apples iPhone 5S Touch ID Means for Mobile Commerce

Regrettably, some 1.6 million Americans were victims of smartphone theft in 2012. Without adequate security measures in place, smartphone theft can easily result in identity theft, credit card fraud, and a laundry list of related personal and financial problems.

By Apple’s own admission, more than half of all iPhone users don’t use a passcode. For these individuals, the iPhone 5S represents a significantly more secure smartphone experience. Undoubtedly, the confident convenience with which iPhone 5S owners can now shop from the palm of their hand will be a game-changer for online retailers. And it may very well drive mobile commerce to record heights domestically and abroad.

According to veteran tech columnist and independent business analyst Mike Randazzo, the multi-character password is now viewed as an easily conquerable, antiquated relic of mobile security’s past.

“A security feature capable of scanning even the sub-epidermal layers of human skin in order to ID a user is exceedingly more cumbersome for cybercriminals to topple,” he says. “With Apple’s new iPhone 5S and similar technology expected from Samsung on the Android side of the equation, mcommerce and mobile banking will accelerate to previously unimaginable heights.”

“The bottom line,” Randazzo concludes, “is that mobile commerce has finally emerged as a critically important channel to online merchants. Any major new hardware or software releases conducive to more accessible and secure mobile shopping and financial management will be a profound driver of mcommerce’s continued expansion.”

What Apples iPhone 5S Touch ID Means for Mobile Commerce image 334295 fingerprint purchases 1What Apples iPhone 5S Touch ID Means for Mobile Commerce

And it has already been expanding faster than anticipated throughout 2013. In fact, mobile commerce sales in the U.S. alone totaled 4.7 billion in Q2 of 2013. For the full year, mcommerce spending could exceed $25 billion.

“One out of every ten consumer ecommerce dollars is now spent using either a smartphone or a tablet, and growth in this segment of the market is outpacing that of traditional ecommerce by a factor of 2x, which itself is growing at rates in the mid-teens,” says comScore Chairman Gian Fulgoni. “Any channel shift has the potential to be disruptive to established revenue streams, and it would appear that m-commerce spending has reached enough of a critical mass that key stakeholders must begin to address this new market dynamic today or risk losing competitive advantage.”

Apple’s iPhone 5S is now expected by some to be the long-awaited catalyst for more aggressive merchant engagement with consumers through the mobile channel.

Images Source: PCMAG

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