Will Apple's virtual wallet use fingerprint recognition? Photo: AFP/Tyler Olson/shutterstock.com
Apple has reportedly signed a deal with Microlatch, an Australian biosecurity company, signaling that it is about to take a significant step towards mobile payments and virtual wallets.
The story, which first appeared in The Australian on October 3, credits its source as David Murray, the company's lead investor. He claims that the firm has reached an agreement with Apple to develop fingerprint-based identification technology.
Before its launch in September, many industry experts had predicted that the latest incarnation of the iPhone would support some form of Near Field Communication (NFC) to keep pace with competitors such as Google who is currently at the forefront of the virtual wallet and mobile payment industry.
But when the iPhone 5 was released without NFC support, the explanation given was that there is currently no demand from users for the service.
Still, that doesn't mean that Apple has discounted the technology. The company has a track record of arriving to the market late but with products that have wide appeal. Which is why when Apple surprised the industry by acquiring AuthenTec, the Florida-based mobile and network security provider, back in August, Apple Insider highlighted that AuthenTec's smart sensor fingerprint-reading technology was too important simply to license and so Apple decided it would make better business sense to buy the company outright.
The deal upset many in the tech community including Samsung, HP and Dell which, until the acquisition, had been AuthenTec customers. They were informed in September that from 2013 the company would cease providing its products or services to third parties.