Pay for your milk using your veins?

Forget fingerprint and iris scanners. You could soon be able to pay for the week’s groceries using the veins on your hand.

The Biyo: no wallets, no receipts – all you need is yourself

The next thing in biometrics payment authentication?

US Biometric company Biyo (formerly Pulse Wallet) have created a revolutionary way to make payments for everyday purchases.

Rather than opting for the mere fingerprint to authenticate payments, like so many other biometric specialists, Biyo have gone for the whole hand.

How does it work?

To set it up, you swipe your credit card as you normally would on the Biyo reader in store, then scan your palm and enter your phone number to link it to your account.

The unique vein patterns in your palm create your own secure biometric password for all future transactions. One of the key benefits being, as Biyo points out, that this is a password ‘you never have to remember.’

Then the next time you pop into a shop (one that supports the Biyo technology of course), all you have to do to authenticate your purchase is wave your hand over the reader. Job done. No more shielding your PIN from the person behind you.

You can then track your transactions online or via the Biyo app.

Will it take off?

The problem as far as we can see it, is ensuring enough merchants sign up to the technology to make it accessible. The fact that you can forget your wallet and still pick up tonight’s dinner by scanning your palm is great, but what if the Take Away doesn’t have a Biyo terminal? You’ll have to drive back home to pick up your cards. Which goes against the benefit of ‘convenience’ somewhat.

It’s only available in the US at the moment, but if it’s successful, you can probably expect it to roll out to other countries.

What’s wrong with a finger – why do we need the whole hand?

Biyo points out that their palm vein pattern recognition uses near infrared light to capture your own individual vein pattern which is more than 99% accurate. The sensor is contactless, so you won’t be leaving traces of your pattern like you can do with fingerprints. Also, the technology isn’t affected by any blemishes or cuts on your hand as it’s looking underneath the skin.

We know what you’re thinking. What if someone chops off your hand and whips it out at the till?

Ignoring the inherent problems of getting a severed hand past the shop assistant, Biyo are quick to put you at ease on this one – it wouldn’t work due to the lack of blood flow.

So that’s a relief.

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