Android phone beats Apple to fingerprint enabled payments

Apple may have caused a stir with the addition of TouchID to the Apple 5S, with the promise of processing payments through the technology once it is developed further, but an Android phone has stolen the firm's thunder with launching fingerprint payments first.

South Korean mobile payments provider Danal announced earlier this week that, in partnership with fingerprint technology firm Crucialtec, it has released the world's first fingerprint-based mobile payment service.

South Korean smartphone maker Pantech will be the first to use the payment technology, with it being made available on its VEGA LTE-A smartphone.

All users have to do is download the BarTong app and they will be able to use their smartphone in place of cash in shops. Instead of entering a credit or debit card PIN number, users scan their fingerprint through their smartphone.

"Since the iPhone 5S adopted fingerprint sensors, Android-based handset makers have been taking account the possibility of fingerprint functions," Danal's payment business division executive Lee Seock-hwan told the Korea Herald.

"We will continue to partner with Crucialtec to unveil diverse fingerprint services for mobile payments."

A Danal spokesperson said the firm will soon be launching the fingerprint-based BarTong service overseas, including in the US and China.

"We will step up our efforts to meet global demand with Danal's diverse mobile payment system," the spokesperson said.