PayPal will support mobile fingerprint authentication on the upcoming Samsung Galaxy S5 mobile phone, enabling Samsung customers to use their fingers to log in to shop at merchants who accept PayPal.

The fingerprints will be used in place of passwords and other login credentials, and the biometric technology is part of a broad strategy at PayPal to reduce reliance on passwords, PayPal announced Feb. 24.  PayPal will support fingerprint authentication on the Galaxy S5 in 26 markets, including Australia, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, the United Kingdom and the U.S.

"By working with Samsung to leverage fingerprint authentication technology on their new Samsung Galaxy S5, we are able to demonstrate [that] consumers don't need to sacrifice convenience to increase security," says Hill Ferguson, PayPal's chief product officer, in the company's announcement.

PayPal, a unit of eBay, is also a member of the FIDO Alliance, a group of payments and technology companies that are attempting to improve authentication through interoperability.

PayPal will also offer an app for Samsung's smartwatches.

Apple also supports fingerprint authentication on its iPhone 5s, but only for purchases made from an Apple iTunes account. Apple's TouchID fingerprint sensor was not made accessible to third parties when the smartphone launched last year.

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