Windows Wallet is making a comeback. The Windows Phone 8 feature that let users store coupons, cards and payment systems is slated to make a resurgence of sorts on Windows 10, according to Joe Belfiore, corporate VP of Microsoft's operating systems group.
"Windows is going to have a wallet concept. You’ve seen it on phones before. We’re going to continue to iterate it," Belfiore said to The Verge and Re/code in an interview. "We’re going to think about the range of payment scenarios."
But perhaps most interesting is the hint Belfiore gave as to how the device would authenticate the customer. Competitors like Samsung Pay, Android Pay and Apple Pay ask users to scan their fingerprint when the device is near an NFC terminal, but Belfiore cited the Windows Hello authentication system as an example of the "kind of technology we’ll build into devices for authentication to make… payments better."
Windows Hello is an all-encompassing authentication system that does include fingerprint scanning, but it also uses face and iris scanning. The upcoming Lumia 950 XL already uses iris scanning to unlock the device, so Microsoft would be building on its existing iris scanning technology if the company decided to use it in mobile payment authentication.
Belfiore stated the company is looking at both online and real-world payments. His comments suggest the company is exploring how best to use similar technologies to the ones on display in Windows Hello to make its payment system work smoothly.
Mobile payments have almost become the standard in a modern flagship device.
Apple jumped in with its own system in the iPhone 6, which expanded on the proven capabilities of the fingerprint reader introduced in the iPhone 5S. Google's Android Pay, on the other hand, covers a wide range of devices and enables more smartphone makers to include mobile payments without having to build their own system. Whether an entry from Microsoft would be a success remains to be seen, but Windows 10 does stand out with its current lack of a payments system on mobile.