According to recent reports from South Korean media outlet Business Korea, yesterday on June 15, LG U+ announced the upcoming release of a new biometrics authentication platform designed to facilitate mobile transactions. The service will make use of Fast Identity Online (FIDO) international standards for biometric authentication, and will apparently debut in August 2016.
South Korea carrier LG U+ has apparently already obtained a certificate to use FIDO standards for biometric authentication on its networks, and according to reports, the platform will make use of both user biometric information – such as fingerprint and / or iris data collected by mobile devices capable of doing so – as well as carrier billing information in order to facilitate one-step online authentication and fast mobile payments, eliminating the need for repeated authentication processes for different types of payments. Furthermore, the platform will rely on USIMs that store personal biometric data, and the mobile operator intends to provide highly secure USIMs for creating an authentication platform compliant with FIDO standards, without having to build an infrastructure. LG U+’s mobile payment platform will reportedly launch in August, when the carrier also intends to launch a joint platform together with local carriers KT and SK Telecom, providing universal authentication solutions based on FIDO standards for enterprises. No other details have been revealed.
It’s interesting to note that, as the moniker suggests, LG U+ is a South Korean mobile operator owned by none other than the LG Corporation. Meanwhile, LG Electronics has also been working on an online / mobile payment platform called LG Pay, which is supposed to rely on electronic credit card replacers similar to “Coin” and “Plastic”. Initially, the platform was expected to go live at or around Mobile World Congress 2016, but LG delayed the service’s debut, reportedly in order to focus its energy on the release of the LG G5 at MWC. The service was then expected to launch sometime in the second quarter, yet other recent rumors suggest that LG Pay will go live no earlier than September. Either way, as yet there are no official details regarding how LG Pay and LG U+’s upcoming biometric authentication platform could coexist, or how one service might improve the other.