Vein-Scanning Cash Register Ushers In A New Era Of Biometric Payments

Vein-Scanning Cash Register Ushers In A New Era Of Biometric Payments

PulseWallet aims to popularize bio-authentication across the US.

Ross Brooks
  • 8 january 2014

Bio-authentication can already be used to identify you by your cardiac rhythm, but now there is a scanner that uses biometrics to let you pay for everyday items like a cup of coffee. It’s called PulseWallet, and it uses the veins in your hand instead of a pin or signature to authenticate your credit card. The question is whether or not it can compete with existing technologies?

PulseWallet is a credit card terminal and register with a built-in biometric palm reader that uses an infrared Fujitsu camera to photograph your vein pattern. Once you’ve paired a credit card with your unique pattern, you can hold your hand over any PulseWallet terminal to pay by card. If you’re a business owner, you can hook it up to your cash register, or to PulseWallet’s bundled register, which also includes a Windows tablet.


Biometrics have been adopted rather rapidly in some countries like Italy and Brazil, where 35,000 ATMs already use the technology to prevent fraud, but it hasn’t quite caught on in the US. “Biometric is the future,” insists PulseWallet CTO Matt Saricicek in an interview with The Verge. That still doesn’t change the fact the company’s real challenge is to establish a reputation with an ultra-secure authentication platform, as well as convince retailers to adopt the technology when it hasn’t gone mainstream yet.

Payments isn’t the only option for the company though, it’s just their first attempt at making the technology more widespread in the US. PulseWallet can also imagine a future where instead of using a card to open a hotel room, you simply flash your hand when you check in, then flash it again at your door. So if this venture isn’t successful, there are plenty of other avenues for them to try.


Source: The Verge

Images: PulseWallet

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