Paying for a coffee or lunch by simply scanning your palm might sound like science fiction. However, an engineering student at Lund University in Sweden has made it happen – making his the first company in the world to install the vein scanning technique in stores and coffee shops.
Fredrik Leifland got the idea for his start-up two years ago when he was standing in line at the supermarket. Growing impatient, he knew there had to be an easier and quicker way than using credit cards, and together with a group of classmates at Lund University he soon discovered biometric solutions. While vein scanning technology already existed, there was no system for actually using it as a form of payment. Leifland said:
We had to connect all the players ourselves, which was quite complex: the vein scanning terminals, the banks, the stores and the customers. The next step was finding ways of packaging it into a solution that was user-friendly.
Their solution worked. There are currently 15 stores and restaurants that use the terminals, with 1,600 active users.
Security is a major advantage of the technique, said Liefland.
Every individual’s vein pattern is completely unique, so there really is no way of committing fraud with this system. You always need your hand scanned for a payment to go through.
To sign up for the hand payments, you visit one of the stores with a terminal, and enter your social security number and phone number. You then scan your palm three times, and subsequently receive a text message with an activation link from the website. You complete the registration by filling in a form with additional information.