Move over Apple Pay, ‘Blood Pay’ is here

By Kitty Knowles 19 July 2016
Use Vein ID from FingoPay to buy drinks with your blood. Pic: iStock/sabyna75

This summer pay for a pint with your blood.

Today there’s Apple Pay, Android Pay, and even Selfie Pay.

But did you know you can now pay for a pint with the very blood in your veins?

FingoPay is cutting out the middlemen (the bank cards, the smartphones and smartwatches), to let you pay with – you guessed it – your finger.

Go cashless with ‘Blood Pay’

FingoPay was initially created by Sthaler to help festivals go cashless, company CEO Nick Dryden, told The Memo.

“Festival-goers were vulnerable,” he explained.

“When you ran out of that cash, the experience to get more money was usually terrible, resulting in queues at the cash machine, queues to buy tokens, then more queues to get a drink.”

The search began for a completely cash-less, card-less, mobile-less payment solution and the company’s ran its first trial at Festival No 6 in Wales.

“The system we built enables you to link a debit or credit card directly to your biometric identity and just use your finger to pay… people love using it!”

The big biometric idea

Now ‘biometric’ (using your physical body as a login, or key) is a bit of a buzzword at the moment; banks seem to be obsessed with the idea of offering selfie scans, for example.

But where paying with a ‘selfie’ requires you to have a smartphone (and is kind of cringy), paying with your fingers is even easier.

“It works well because it’s way faster than chip & pin and contactless, we provide a digital receipt via email and most people are very happy to use it,” said Dryden.

After all, you always have your digits with you, and never have to worry about if your battery’s going to run out, he explained:

“FingoPay is what we call the ultimate wearable.”

How does FingoPay work?

Once you’re registered, all you need to do to pay for stuff is place your finger into a reader at a till.

This shines a near infrared light through your finger, the haemoglobin in the blood absorbs infrared, and the reader can see the unique pattern in your veins to identify you.

Combined with a few other medical measurements, this creates a ‘crypto-key’ to unlock your registered bank accounts from FingoPay’s cloud.

“It can only ever be that person; they must be alive, we don’t store any biometrics, and it’s impossible to reverse engineer the crypto-key,” said Dryden.

“If anyone hacked our server and found the crypto-keys, they are anonymous and completely and utterly useless.”

You can register more than one card to your finger, choose between cards on payment, or even select one card as a default.

Where does FingoPay already exist?

FingoPay has spent the last year testing with Worldpay (in the business HQ’s restaurant) and in the Visa Europe Collab incubator.

“2016 is a huge year for Fingopay,” said Dryden.

This summer FingoPay will launch to the public at Proud, a bar in Camden, London, and further venues in Cork, Ireland.

“Once these customers are happy you’ll start to see FingoPay everywhere,” said Dryden.

Supermarkets are particularly interested because they can personalise the service for their customers – putting discounts or loyalty points straight on your digits.

“In a year’s time we would like to see FingoPay being used in clubs, bars, shops and hotels around the UK and people really enjoying the experience,” said Dryden.

FingoPay, could even lead to a healthier future.

“[FingoPay] was originally developed to spot the early signs of heart disease and maybe people would like a mini-health check with every use….who knows!”

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