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Costcutter becomes world’s first supermarket to offer 'finger vein' payments

A British supermarket has become the first in the world to let customers pay for their groceries using finger vein biometric technology. Customers at t...

Laura Mullan
|Sep 21|magazine7 min read

A British supermarket has become the first in the world to let customers pay for their groceries using finger vein biometric technology.

Customers at the Costcutter store at Brunel University, London, can now pay for their groceries using the unique pattern of veins in their fingertip.  

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The cash-free solution is the latest ‘biometric payment’ tool - a technology which uses a unique aspect of a person’s body to make a cash payment. 

Fingopay, developed by British start-up Sthaler, uses infrared scanners to read the pattern of veins in your finger, which it links to your bank card.
 

It can take just three sections to complete the transaction and the technology works with wet, dirty, or small cuts to the finger as the scanner can see inside the skin. 
 
Wayne Swallow, retail sales director of Sthaler, said: “Fingopay will give the Brunel Costcutter valuable customer data, enabling personalised real-time promotions and, at the same time, speed up service by offering customers the ultimate in convenient payment.


“Early indications are encouraging and our nation-wide field engineering force stands ready to support a rollout in line with demand,” he added.


Biometric payment tools may make food and retail purchases easier and quicker as consumers do not need to carry cash or remember a pin number.

Director of technology innovation at Worldpay UK, Nick Telford-Reed, said: ‘Biometric security has become an important part of payment authentication technology in recent years.

Our research shows that 69% of consumers would be happy to use their fingerprints as a method of authentication, which has been fuelled by the growth of mobile and contactless payments.”

The layout of finger veins is almost unique, with the chances of two people having the same vessel structure around 3.4 billion-to-1, according to Sthaler.

The biometric technology provider says that it is in 'serious talks' with other major British supermarkets to add the scanners to thousands of UK stores.