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Future of payment security—vein scanning!
By Tammy May


Furture of wallet-less transactionsDo you remember when we used to have bank books? Or how about the old, crunchy credit card machines that used to make a carbon imprint of your card? Then we got cards that had magnetic strips inside and came with PIN numbers. The latest iteration is smart cards with radio chips and virtual wallets programmed into our mobile devices.

So what comes next? According to people in the know, the future of transaction security is “biometric authentication”, which basically means using body parts to verify our payment details.

The most common form of biometric authentication today is fingerprint scanning (Apple’s iPhone 5 has it), but experts say it has serious weaknesses. A photo of a fingerprint is often sufficient to fool the system, and a dead finger (eek!) works as well as a live one. Hand scanning, face recognition and retina (eyeball) scanning is more accurate, but not always practicable.

Scientists suggest that vein scanning is the most likely future for wallet-less transactions. A special scanning machine will recognise the unique vein pattern in your wrist and know that blood is still coursing through your veins. Fujitsu is one of the first companies planning to launch Vascular Pattern Identification (VPI) payment terminals. They claim that their technology provides only one false positive for every 1.25 million attempts. The launch date is unknown.

What do you think about the introduction of biometric authentication for shop payments?

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