It would be possible to pay for purchases all over town with nothing but your finger if a British unicorn called Sthaler has its way. No card, no cash, and no clothes are needed to pay with Sthaler’s Fingopay system.
The basis of Fingopay is the pattern of veins in the human finger. Every person has a unique pattern of veins in his or her fingers, Sthaler’s website states. Sthaler’s Biometric VeinID technology scans the pattern using a pulse of near-infrared light and checks them against the pattern in its data basis.
The pattern serves as a unique digital key that allows access to payment accounts. The system works so well that the Costcutter supermarket is testing it in its store at London’s Brunel University, The Daily Telegraph reported. Around 3,000 students have signed up for a solution that combines Fingopay and the Worldpay payment processing system.
Are Veins the Future of Identification?
Biometric VeinID has some big advantages over fingerprints. Unlike fingerprints, veins cannot be burned off with acid or lasers or changed with plastic surgery. Nor can they be duplicated with makeup or plastic. Another advantage is that people with no fingerprints can use Fingopay.
Sthaler hopes to expand Fingopay to other venues; including nightclubs and Premier League football matches. A similar technology is already to control access to high-security areas at British police facilities.
The next logical step for Biometric VeinID is to add it to devices such as smartphones and cryptocurrency hardware wallets. More intriguing applications include safes, lockboxes, bank accounts, and automobiles. A Biometric scanner would be used instead of a key in the ignition of a car. Other uses would Biometric VeinID scanners on the door of your house or a bank vault.
Another use would be on firearms to keep police officers, soldiers, or prison guards safe. If a bad guy grabbed an officer or soldier’s gun, he would not be able to fire it. Many police officers get killed or injured by their own weapons.
One organization that believes strongly in Biometric VeinID and Fingopay is Visa (NYSE: V); which is partnering with Sthaler. That means at some point in the future, your finger might take the place of your Visa card. Someday soon credit and debit cards might go the way of pay telephones.