Cash or card – those are the two main payment methods available at most retailers these days. You choose one or the other. But what if there was an option to hover your hand over a machine and you’ve magically made the payment?
It’s not exactly magic. It’s a system called PulseWallet and it charges your credit card by scanning your veins. Yes, your veins. The machine uses a biometric palm reader with an infrared Fujitsu camera that takes a photo of your vein pattern and pairs it with a credit card you have swiped. After the initial pairing, you can hold your hand over any PulseWallet terminal operated by the same owner to make a payment. No cash or card required. Banks, hospitals, malls and virtually any type of business can use the PulseWallet as a new method of accepting payment.
As of now the technology behind the PulseWallet is correct about 99.999 percent of the time and with the requirement of a second degree of authentication the makers hope to bring the accuracy up to 100 percent. And since PulseWallet’s PalmSecure readers have been around since 2005, over 35,000 ATMs in countries like Italy and Brazil have adopted the technology to prevent fraud.
But when it comes to the American retail market, the system has yet to catch on. With the recent announcement of its new bundled registers, which go on sale next month for businesses, the founders hope it will finally break through.
According to The Verge, one of the challenges might be “establishing a reputation as an ultra-secure authentication platform [and] convincing retailers to adopt the technology.” PulseWallet CTO Matt Saricicek told the publication he believes the solution lies in getting a strong foothold in the small business world.
“People underestimate the power of small businesses — it’s a huge market” he says, adding “I’d rather be in 1000 small businesses than in one big franchise.” And with biometrics taking off right now – Apple’s latest iPhone, which allows users unlock the devices and make purchases online by utilizing their fingerprints, is enjoying popularity in the market – PulseWallet might be gearing up to finally hit it big in the states and beyond.