London supermarket tests ‘finger vein’ payment method


A supermarket at London’s Brunel University now offers customers the option to pay using Fingopay, a system which scans unique vein patterns in their fingers.

Fingopay technology was developed by Hitachi and biometric payment firm Sthaler acquired a license to employ it in the retail sector. The company decided to test the technology on a university campus store since Sthaler Chief Executive Nick Dryden believed it would appeal to the younger population.

“Today’s millennial generation now expects a higher level of ease, security and efficiency from the way that we pay,” Dryden stated.

In order to be able to use this method, customers must register and have the system map their finger veins pattern and then link it to their credit or debit cards. Once they have done this, they will be able to pay at the Costcutter store at Brunel using nothing but their own hand by scanning their fingers using an electronic reader.

According to Sthaler, the finger vein pattern method is the “the safest form of biometrics with no known breaches” since it can be only used by a living person whose blood must be flowing through their veins in order to use the method.

Some experts have expressed concern regarding the payment method, claiming similar biometric payment systems which used fingerprints could easily be tricked.

A spokesperson for Costcutter said the supermarket chain will “see the results” of the trial and if satisfied it will decide to introduce the system in its other stores, as well. Sthaler added it was in “serious talks” about the technology with several major supermarket chains in the United Kingdom.


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