SAN DIEGO – Qualcomm Incorporated (NASDAQ: QCOM) presented the first secure fingerprint authentication for Tencent’s WeChat payments on Wednesday.

By 2015, WeChat had already 650 million monthly active users registered in China. The Qualcomm’s announcement comes just a day before Apple Pay is introduced into the Chinese market.

The new fingerprint authentication will allow users to conduct online transactions just by touching a fingerprint sensor, instead of typing a PIN code or passwords. In China, WeChat is used to buy food, clothes, movie tickets and even U.S. homes. Fingerprints will be stored in the smartphone’s hard drive, as a result, biometric information will be independent of apps.

Photo: The Wall Street Observer
Photo: The Wall Street Observer

“The Qualcomm Haven platform’s authentication framework supports convenient, robust security and the latest mobile payment standards,” says Sy Choudhury, senior director of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

Qualcomm remarked in a press release published on Wednesday, that every step of the authentication process will be executed with hardware level security. According to Alex Feng, chief marketing officer at Vivo, the company is committed to enhancing security features in their devices, as a response they have allied with Qualcomm and Tencent to provide a more secure experience for users.

China has its own smartphone rules: Vivo X6 and X6 Plus

The startup Vivo presented on December the X6 and X6 Plus, both are powered by Snapdragon processors and 4GB of RAM. The X6 comes with 3GB of internal hard drive and a 2400mAh battery. On the other hand, its big brother has 64GB storage, a 3,000 mAh battery and a 5.7-inch HD Super AMOLED display.

Both models have 13-megapixels rear cameras and 8-megapixels front cameras with f/2.2 aperture. MicroSD support, LTE and dual-SIM support were also added to the phones, which come with a fingerprint sensor that is capable of unlocking the devices in 0.4 seconds.

The X6 is available for $400 retail in China. The X6 Plus, which has Yamaha YSS-205X Hi-Fi audio tech, can be acquired for $500. That being said, it is not clear if the smartphones presented by Vivo will be available in the U.S. or Europe.

WeChat: a powerful text message platform with several integrated services

WeChat is the leading social communication application in China, with more than 650 million monthly active users. Users with smartphones powered by Snapdragon 400, 600 and 800 processors will be able to enjoy the new Qualcomm security services, said the company on Wednesday in a press release.

WeChat users from China are allowed to pay their utility bills by using the app since the company has allied with Shanghai Fufeiton Information Technology, a service that manages more than 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) per year in payments.

Users can order food from anywhere using WeChat and OrderIn, a popular online food-ordering service. Moreover, the app helps Chinese customers to buy homes in the United States and make doctor appointments, buy clothes, movie tickets and send money to their friends.

As reported by Forbes, other third-party payment platforms are well established in China, the Chinese central bank data states that just in 2014 mobile payments grew by 134 percent in the country.

That being said, Apple is going to enter the segment of mobile payments in China with strength, since there are millions of iPhone users in the country. That being said, the company has allied with the biggest Chinese bank card issuer, UnionPay.

“We’re very excited to offer Apple Pay among a diverse set of innovative payment options that work with China UnionPay QuickPass.” said Chai Hongfeng, executive vice president of China UnionPay.”

Source: Qualcomm Press Release