Biometrics lend a hand to shop payments

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An engineering student at Lund University, Sweden, has installed a vein scanning device in stores and coffee shops which allows customers to make payments by simply scanning the their palm. There are currently 15 stores and restaurants mainly around the Lund University campus that use the terminals, with 1,600 active users.

Fredrik Leifland got the idea for his start-up two years ago after deciding there must to be an easier and quicker way than using credit cards. 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.

‘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,’ says Leifland.

Security is a major advantage of the technique, according to Leifland: ‘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.’

Customers can sign up for the hand payments by visiting a store that has a terminal, scanning their hand over the device three times, and entering a social security and telephone number.

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