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Co-op & McDonalds Test Finger Scanning Payment Tech

February 1, 2017


With the use of contactless technology increasing month by month, it might perhaps come as a surprise to a lot of people to learn that the plastic credit card might well be on its way out…

Companies are becoming ever more open to using the latest technologies and this is shown in McDonalds and the Co-op’s recent move to test the innovative payment method which uses finger-scanning technology.

FingoPay is a biometric reader, and was developed by a British start-up called Sthaler, a company founded by ex-music industry executive Nick Dryden. The reader scans the veins in the finger of the shopper, and in doing so builds up a “map”, of sorts, that is unique to each individual shopper.

Hitachi developed the vein scanner, which is already being used by bank Barclays to help identify business customers. It is also being used in Japan at cash machines; however Sthaler has been given unique rights to license it to retailers.

Once the vein “map” has been connected to a payment card or a bank account, shoppers will be able to pay for their goods by simply placing their fingers on a small scanner. This will therefore negate the use of both credit/debit cards, as well as cash.

Sthaler is due to test the innovative technology this month in London nightclub, Proud. It is hoped the technology will speed up how long people have to wait at the bar by not only reducing the amount of card payments but also by suggesting what drinks customers want, based on what they have ordered previously. Dryden has stated McDonalds will also be experimenting with the technology, using a pilot, and that the start-up has plans to introduce a similar project into Co-op stores.

There is a continued interest in the development of biometrics, especially in the payments industry, for many believe such technology is a lot more efficient and secure than using pins and passwords.

iPhone users will, no doubt, be used to using fingerprint technology by now since Apple Pay (UK) has used it since last year, and its equivalent in Android has also used fingerprint technology since May 2016.

People are certainly becoming more open to using biometric technology, and this is something that the Hendrik Kleinmiede, Director of Visa Europe’s innovation arm Collab (a backer of Sthaler) firmly agrees with. He stated “People are ready to accept biometrics as a secure authentication mechanism.”

For those who are concerned with the fraud aspect of the technology, Sthaler states there is a 3.4 billion-to-one chance of two people having the same vein structure. This means fingerprint technology is almost impossible to crack. Who knows, it might well be the norm by this time next year!

“I like the reliability of knowing we’ve got a decent card machine and our customers aren’t going to have any problems with the payment going through” (November 2015)

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