Credit cards get the job done, but we as entrepreneurs keep looking for ways to innovate on the concept. In Norway, mCash has put together a mobile phone payment system, and in the region we've seen bigger firms like PayPal give NFC payments a try (despite open skepticism), and there are plenty of startups who are trying to make NFC payments the next big thing since credit cards, but what hasn’t been booming the headlines is biometrics as a payment option.
Swedish startup Quixter is introducing the world with a biometric identifier that scans the user’s palm for vein patterns - and uses the individual pattern as a payment confirmation.
Fredrik Leifland, an Lund University engineering student, is the man behind Quixter, who says the idea stemmed from a desire to find a quicker alternative for the typical credit card hassle. The video does a good job explaining the system and logic behind it:
Clearly scanning your palm is quicker than digging your credit card out of your wallet or purse, but how fast is too fast? To be sure that users actually take note of the price, Quixter requires users to also first type in the last four digits of their phone number before scanning their hand.
This isn't just some future tech, Quixter currently has around 1,600 users and the scanner is in use in 15 locations on campus at the Lund University. Like most payment services, Quixter gets a cut on every transaction it completes.
As with NFC technology, the Quixter vein-scanner needs to plug into bigger payment institutions to really make it big, so it might take some time to take solid root in your typical store environment. Nonetheless, the idea is most intriguing, and we're probably only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes innovations in the field of biometrics.