British supermarket becomes first in world to use finger vein payment system

By Innovators FOXBusiness

Paying for groceries with your fingertips

Sthaler CEO Nick Dryden on creating a high-tech finger-vein scanner.

A British supermarket became the first in the world to let shoppers use their veins to pay for groceries.

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Customers at the Costcutter shop at London’s Brunel University paid using their vein pattern to identify themselves. Sthaler CEO Nick Dryden, the company behind the technology, joined FOX Business on Monday to discuss his high-tech finger-vein scanner.

The technology uses infrared light to scan people’s finger veins and then uses a biometrics to link to their bank cards.

“You’re hemoglobin absorbs infrared and we get a very clear pattern of your vein structure, so much so that we can get one and a half thousand point map reference from your finger,” Dryden told Maria Bartiromo on Mornings with Maria.

Dryden said the price of the technology is relatively inexpensive compared to retinal scanners.

“It’s massively cheaper. It’s very practical, people don’t mind using their fingers. Some people have an issue using biometrics… but definitely more so if it’s a retinal scan. But because we are cheap we can do a cloud match… within 200 milliseconds which I think is a little bit more difficult with retinol,” he said.

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The finger scanner uses a safe and secure biometric identification method that can’t be copied or stolen according to Dryden and allows shoppers to make payments in just three seconds.

“When we make a little crypto-key from your finger vein pattern that is completely anonymous in our database. So if anybody ever gets in there, it’s nothing that they can actually find and reuse,” he said. “All you need is you, you don’t need to carry anything. Lots of other kinds of biometrics are lent to devices that we need to take with us. So if we use them, we lose the ability to identify ourselves.” 

Dryden said U.S. businesses have already expressed interest and plans to visit the U.S. in October to introduce the technology at Money20/20.

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