Mobile Commerce

The Next Payments Lifeline — Vein Payments?

In a new twist on authentication methods and technology, one Japanese firm is opening a vein — literally.

As NFC World+ reported Wednesday (Oct. 7), JCB, the Japanese payment card company, is in the midst of testing a new palm vein technology through Fujitsu. The aim is to let buyers authenticate purchases using their hands.

[bctt tweet="In a new twist on authentication methods and technology, one Japanese firm is opening a vein — literally."]

The technology will have a pilot program at the JCB World Conference slated for later this month, and trials elsewhere are expected to follow in global markets, thus far unnamed. The new initiative comes in the wake of a pilot program that utilized testing from several hundred employees at JCB’s Tokyo home base.

JCB said that the initial input links palm vein patterns and payment card information and that several cards can be linked to one user’s vein pattern. The company said in a statement that a user “does not need to bring his or her wallet or any mobile payment device. Palm vein authentication is highly accurate and already being used for many applications, such as bank ATMs and high security area access control systems. Incorporating this authentication method with the JCB global network will create the world’s first payment way of its kind.”

Biometrics is increasingly becoming a technology that bridges the gap between security and commerce. And there is potential for significant revenues in this somewhat futuristic space. This past July, Acuity Market Intelligence said that the mobile biometrics industry could be worth as much as $34 billion in annual revenues within five years. The research firm also noted that biometrics across all of its iterations could authenticate as much as 65 percent of all mobile commerce transactions by then.

Larger payments players have been wading in the biometrics pond, too. In an effort to tie EMV and biometrics together, Visa said last month that it had launched a new initiative that would allow authentication across several forms of biometric identification, including palm.

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