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September 21, 2017

Pay with your veins – biometric payments arrive at Costcutter

No cash? No card? No mobile phone? You might be able to just use your finger to pay in the future.

By James Nunns

Shoppers could soon be able to pay with their veins thanks to biometric technology that Costcutter is trialling.

The system, called Fingopay, works by mapping finger veins from the user of the electronic reader, this mapping process generates a unique key.

To use this unique key as a form of payment a user needs to register and link their finger pattern for their credit or debit card, thus allowing them to pay for goods without cash, card, or mobile phone.

This isn’t the first time the technology will have made an appearance with it already showing up at Proud Cambden, The Stables Market in London.

Barclays bank also introduced the technology, which was developed by Hitachi, to its corporate customers in 2014.

Brunel University is the location for the latest public trial of the biometric payments system. Nick Dryden, chief executive of Sthaler, which is licensed to roll of the technology in the retail sector, told the BBC: “Today’s millennial generation now expects a higher level of ease, security and efficiency from the way that we pay.”

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Some have labelled biometrics as a potential cure for the ‘epidemic levels’ of identity fraud in the UK. Using biometrics as a way to protect customers online, as a replacement for the traditional password, could tackle the password problem but also protect customer information.

Is biometrics the cure for fraud? 
The BBC is testing out biometrics too
Banks are certainly keen as well

Bryan Campbell, senior security researcher at Fujitsu UK&I, said: “The obvious thing to do is to create strong and varied passwords across each application. However, given the rising sophistication of cyber-crime, new technologies such as biometrics are set to rise. For some time now we’ve been familiar with biometrics as a way to unlock phones with a thumb print as one example, and as such consumers are increasingly warming to biometric authentication, even as a way of making financial transactions.

“There is no silver bullet for stopping identity fraud for good, but from contactless palm vein scanning to iris scanners; biometrics is essential for protecting both consumers and organisations in a data driven world.”

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