The ‘naked payments’ concept is poised to take off in a big way in South Korea this autumn, with three of the country’s top credit card companies announcing at the start of this week that they would support finger vein payments starting in October.
As The Korea Times reports, it’s the product of Memoranda of Understanding established last week with two major IT services firms, LG-Hitachi and NICE Information and Telecommunication. Together with the credit card firms Shinhan, BC, and Hana Card, the companies will work to deliver finger vein readers to convenience stores across the country starting this October. Customers’ finger vein biometrics would be linked to their payment accounts, allowing them to make a purchase using only a finger scan, and with no need for physical payment cards or any other hardware.
In announcing the effort, Shinhan Card suggested that it expects this kind of payment system to prove highly popular beyond the initial deployments. “Payment authorizations based on fingertip veins is both convenient and secure, and we forecast it will become the main biometrics authorization method for offline payments.”
For now, though, it’s a niche area in FinTech. There has been some activity in this area in Japan, with authorities seeking to establish a naked payments system for the many tourists expected to visit for the 2020 Olympics; and in Singapore a system called Touché could gain a foothold thanks to a recently established partnership with OCBC bank, while in Europe the Fingopay system has seen a small handful of deployments. But with the cross-business collaboration of Shinhan, BC, Hana Card, LG-Hitachi, and NICE, South Korea could play host to one of the most ambitious naked payment networks yet.
Source: The Korea Times
June 12, 2018 – by Alex Perala