In a bid to advance payment systems, Visa Europe Collab – Visa's Europe-based innovation hub – has partnered with UK-based biometrics business Sthaler and British payments provider Worldpay on Fingopay: a cloud-based identification tool that verifies users via the vein in their fingers.
Vein ID technology, which is owned by Japanese company Hitachi, will potentially allow users to connect to sensitive personal data such as medical information, access their homes, gain entry to events, and use it as ID when travelling or making payments.
The payment system is currently being trialled by Worldpay staff in the canteen of its London headquarters. Hundreds of employees have generated a unique vein profile by having their index finger scanned by a small biometric scanner dubbed the Finger Vein Reader. The scanner, which for retail purposes could be installed via a USB-style data storage device onto standard POS systems, passes near-infrared LED light through the finger that's absorbed into the blood to create a recordable, non-replicable vein pattern. The profiles are subsequently linked to users' Visa payment card details stored on a "military-grade security" Fingopay master site.
When paying for lunch, the same scanner takes a systolic test for blood pressure, to assure that the user is alive, while scanning and matching the pattern with the profile to authenticate payment.
The cutting-edge yet apparently low-cost, easily integrated tech may be invaluable in delivering the frictionless and safe experience consumers now desire. Some 76% of Gen Z consumers (aged six to 19 years) would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, with 69% believing it would make their lives faster and easier (Visa Europe, 2015).