Japan-based payment card company JCB is testing out a palm vein authentication system for payments. Having already conducted an in-house trial involving hundreds of employees this summer, the company is now preparing a public trial at the JCB World Conference this month.
The system has been developed in collaboration with Fujitsu, a company that has invested heavily in developing its own palm vein biometric technology. The companies’ platform would link a user’s palm vein pattern to their payment card information, effectively replacing the PINs that are currently widely used. Moreover, multiple cards could be linked to the user’s palm, which could allow the system to effectively act as a virtual wallet for many users.
It’s an innovative payment system, but its prospects in a rapidly-changing global payment market are unclear. Its biggest competition could be in the form of mPayment platforms such as Samsung Pay and the like, which could have an advantage given that many consumers are already very familiar with fingerprint biometrics via the scanners found on most new mid- and high-end mobile devices. But JCB’s system is among the first to entirely do away with hardware on the user end, allowing consumers to make purchases with their hands alone. To many of today’s consumers, it probably will sound like a strange concept; but as money increasingly becomes virtual, it’s an idea that could get some traction going forward.
October 7, 2015 – by Alex Perala