Fingopay wants to change the way you buy your coffee, pay for your groceries, or settle your bar tab.
The UK-based startup’s technology lets you shop with only your bare hands, specifically by the pattern of blood in your finger. No more credit cards, PINS, passwords, or cash—you pay for purchases by placing your finger on a scanner. And, because the chances of two people having the same vein structure is more than 3 billion-to-one, proponents claim vein authentication is more secure than a PIN.
The biometrics technology already is being used at Brunel University in West London, where more than 1,000 students signed up in the first four weeks after launch. Fingopay has a 62 percent return rate on campus, meaning most customers have tapped into it more than once.
Downloading the app and then registering a fingertip and linking it to a credit card takes just minutes, as demonstrated by Simon Binns, Commercial Director at Sthaler, at Money 20/20 in Las Vegas. You can register more than one card to your finger, choose between cards at checkout, or even select one card as a default. Sthaler, the firm behind the technology, launched the vein identification technology at a London music festival. The technology is from electronics giant Hitachi and is used by Barclays, but the Brunel markets are the first retail customer for Sthaler, which was established in 2011 by former music executive Nicholas Dryden with backing from high net-worth investors.
“As customers are carrying fewer cards, we’re in the right space and on the right track,” Binns said.
Besides at merchants on campus, Sthaler’s also used in a London nightclub and pub, which Fingopay sees as a win for both merchant and customer. The merchant can verify whether the customer is over 21 and have the customer’s favorite drink stored in its system and ready to go, while the customer no longer has to worry about leaving his credit card at the bar.
Fingopay has said it is in serious talks with other London businesses and is looking to expand globally.