Shoppers Could Soon Use Their Veins To Authenticate Payments

One of the world’s biggest payment providers has revealed it researching how to boost the security of your transactions with a new biometric service that could spell the end of PIN numbers and passwords.

Visa Europe Collab, the development arm of Visa, has teamed up with biometrics start-up Sthaler and global payments company Worldpay to trial ‘Fingopay’, a new form of payments utilising finger vein technology.

The new technology registers and scans for a print of a user’s finger vein pattern each time they pay for goods at a Point of Sale (PoS) point. This print is highly unique, with only a one in 34 billion chance that two people share the same finger vein pattern, according to Nicholas Dryden, Sthaler CEO.


The vein scans are currently being trialled at Worldpay’s London offices by several hundred employees, and offer extra peace of mind to those unsure about companies storing personal data as it is non-latent, meaning no trace of your biometric template is left thanks to the veins being inside your body.

Setting up a scan takes less than ten seconds, and unlike Apple’s TouchID service or other fingerprint scanning apps does not require multiple touches or angles of scans to set up. There’s also no danger of anyone forging your details, as even identical twins do not have the same vein ‘print’, the company says.

“We looked at all different types of biometrics, and finger vein is definitely the most advanced,” Dryden told TechWeekEurope, ranking it above iris recognition, “There’s a genuine buzz about this new way to pay,”.

“Fingerprint is the first cab off the rank in terms of widespread integration,” added Mike Philpotts, authentication innovation partner, Visa Europe Collab, “it seems that people are getting pretty comfortable with the concept of biometrics…but it’s hard to see which particular form factor will win out.”


The launch comes at a good time for supporters of biometric security, as recent research from Visa Europe found that British consumers are increasingly likely to support and use biometrics in their technology.

A study it carried out earlier this year found that three-quarters of 16-24 year olds in the UK would feel comfortable using information such as fingerprint scans, facial recognition or retina scanning in place of traditional passcodes.

Overall, three-quarters (76 percent) of this age group said that they would feel comfortable making a payment using biometric security, with over two thirds (69 percent) believe this will make their lives faster and easier.

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Mike Moore

Michael Moore joined TechWeek Europe in January 2014 as a trainee before graduating to Reporter later that year. He covers a wide range of topics, including but not limited to mobile devices, wearable tech, the Internet of Things, and financial technology.

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