Samsung Card Co., according to industry sources, wants to become the first credit card company to allow mobile payments authorized via the iris scanner found in the Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8 Plus. Users in South Korea can unlock their devices with the iris scanner just like everyone else, but allowing its use inside Samsung Card's mobile payment app would be the first such move for the Galaxy S8 in its home country. So far, a few other companies have already announced that they're on board with this idea, including Shinhan, Woori, and Hana. It should be noted that the phone already allows for biometric authentication of payments outside of South Korea. In fact, the Galaxy S8's iris scanner can already be used in Samsung Pay.
Many might find this feature welcome considering the rather confusing world of online banking in South Korea. Archaic security measures and inconvenient procedures bar users from accessing their accounts from their phone or computer as easily as the rest of the world, so while the change would only allow the authentication of mobile payments through the iris scanner, it's quite conceivable that a measurable success here could lend serious credence to the idea that biometric authentication and identity verification for online banking in the country is indeed viable, paving the way for more South Korean citizens to have a far easier time managing their money online.
The Galaxy Note 7 was the only Samsung phone before the Galaxy S8 to feature an iris scanner, but the functionality wasn't available for long since the device itself was discontinued shortly after hitting the market last year. Biometric transactions are par for the course throughout most of the world, but seeing Samsung Card and several other companies wanting to use the Galaxy S8's iris scanner, the online banking in South Korea might become much easier in the future. Since the Galaxy Note 7 never got a chance to have its iris scanner put to such a test and the Galaxy S8 is just making its way out into the world, iris scanning for transaction authentication is now essentially having its first real trial in the worldwide mobile market, and only time will tell if it goes well enough in South Korea to warrant further expansion of the concept.