November 20, 2013 – by Peter B. Counter
Biometrics and payment aren’t a combination that is confined solely to the world of mCommerce, currently developing around innovations that incorporate fingerprint, face or voice recognition into mobile devices. There is a clear convenience inherent in the idea of pay-with-your-phone solutions and mobile wallets, but at the very heart of the need for these innovations lies a need for secure, cashless payments facilitated by a virtual account. In many ways a smartphone is perfect for this, but it is not the only option, and that is made very clear by the new all-in-one payment system from PulseWallet that features Fujitsu’s PalmSecure technology.
The announcement came today that PulseWallet and Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc have partnered to allow customers to pay for goods and services using nothing but the palm of their hand. The team-up manifests in the form of an all-in-one payment terminal being targeted at eco-conscious retailers.
“Fujitsu has been an eco-friendly company for over 30-years, with a true commitment to developing and delivering solutions that limit impact on the environment,” says Randy Fox, senior director, currency handling and identification product solutions, Fujitsu Frontech North America Inc.
PulseWallet insists that this new biometric way to pay will be attractive to brands hoping to hitch their wagons to eco-friendly stars since the POS terminals are completely paperless. Arguably, however, the bigger draw will be the palm-vein authentication that will act as the key to a user’s virtual wallet. Palm-vein biometrics are incredibly difficult to spoof, and Fujitsu’s PalmSecure is a high end one, the sort trusted for physical access control in laboratories.
A major draw for this kind of terminal-based biometric payment system has to do also with the idea that it is cardless, tokenless and if laws permitted it, could be used by a completely naked registered customer (with no wallet or identification). As long as a hand has blood flowing through it, the PalmSecure technology will recognize an enrolled user and accept her payment.
Only time will tell if this solution will have enough traction to stand tall in the coming tidal wave of mCommerce solutions, but the convenience and nakedness that the PulseWallet terminals can offer are at the very least a reminder of the versatility we have in biometrics when it comes to solving the problems of current generation payment procedures.