Taking the notion of “industrial drilling” to a whole new level, payments innovators want to get under your skin – yes, literally – with a microchip that manages the bill with a tap.
No, not the gesture some of you are probably imagining right now.
Giving new and potentially horrific meaning to common phrases like “I lost my wallet” is truly a step towards the next normal when we completely separate from devices, approaching a future singularity when we cause transactions by pure will .
Teenagers would say it already works well without technical assistance. It’s called “incessant moaning” – a powerful force that venture capitalists want someone to produce as soon as possible.
For now, it’s about implants. The BBC reported in April about a guy walking around London getting things with the wave of his hand, and that hand wasn’t holding a wand or a gun. On the contrary, it was equipped with a chip manufactured by FinTech Wallet mor which is implanted under the skin and, when synchronized with an eWallet application, can handle an actual payment.
Weighing less than a gram and the size of a grain of rice, the chip requires no power source, relying on near field communications (NFC), the pure wrist laptop and the iCard digital wallet.
Before anyone gets upset, ask yourself this question: “Does my pet have an RFID chip?” If the answer is yes, then you are already using some variation of this technology.
If your pet doesn’t have a microchip, consider getting one, lest you lose a valuable pet.
Also, we’ve been toying with this idea for years, but not in subcutaneous form factors.
Organic means business
Amazon 1introduced in 2020 and known colloquially as “palm pay” is a biometric scan that recognizes your palm print and allows you to pay by waving your hand over an optical point-of-sale (POS) terminal.
On Wednesday, April 20, it was widely reported that Amazon One was being added to outlets in Austin, Texas, bringing the total number of US stores with “palm pay” into the 100 range.
If this evolves, Amazon is the company to make it happen. Still a big “if” though.
Biometrics is being put to the test, with governments around the world asking questions about all this identity data and how it could be misused.
Maybe ask Elon Musk, the guy who founded PayPal, along with other well-known companies (Tesla, SpaceX), and may soon own Twitter.
A few years ago, Musk invested $100 million in a startup called Neuralink.
According to the Neuralink website, it’s about designing “the first neural implant that will allow you to control a computer or mobile device wherever you go. Micron-scale wires are inserted into areas of the brain that control movement. Each wire contains many electrodes and connects them to an implant, the Link.
We’ve heard rumors of engineers fixing bugs and issues, like people simply scrolling through social media ads for luxury SUVs — and waking up to find one in their driveway, delivered.
They will understand. It’s Elon.
You as Payment (YaaP)
Either way, Musk isn’t alone in his quest for mind control over devices, vehicles, and money. While we’re at it, not everyone cares about the terminology that pops up around the idea.
Biometrics innovators have been working on it for years, like the folks at Big Tech behind that fingerprint scan and facial recognition on your phone. They like precise language.
In March, Pop-ID CEO John Miller said PYMNTS, “We don’t use the [term] ‘facial recognition’ to describe our platform. We use “facial verification”. Recognition refers to technologies that actively monitor people, observe them. Our technology requires that you first register with the platform. You sign up on your phone and say, “I want the ability to pay with my face.”
It’s basically the digital transformation of what highly attractive people have been doing for millennia: pay in the face. They are so breathtaking that just looking at them is its own reward. There are ways to monetize this effect, but that’s another story for another time.
Which brings us back to the London chipman. In fact, Walletmor says it’s sold around 500 implants, so you might be standing next to one of these eWallet cyborgs and not knowing it.
Incidentally, Walletmor’s site states that “insertion of an implant only takes 15 minutes, and the procedure itself is minimally invasive and painless – it requires minimal incision with the use of local anesthetic”.
You can even ask a body piercer to do it. In fact, the more you learn about it, the cooler it sounds.
“The implant can be used to pay for a drink on the beach in Rio, a coffee in New York, a haircut in Paris – or at your local grocery store,” the CEO of Walletmor said. Paprota Wojtek told the BBC. “It can be used anywhere contactless payments are accepted.”
It’s more like that. Where do we sign? Looks like we should just be able to nod, but whatever.
NEW PYMNTS DATA: THE FUTURE OF BUSINESS SUPPLIER INNOVATION STUDY – APRIL 2022
On: While more than half of SMBs believe an all-in-one payment platform can save them time and improve cash flow visibility, 56% believe the solution could be difficult to integrate with AP systems and existing ARs. The Future Of Business Payables innovation report, a collaboration between PYMNTS and Plastiq, surveyed 500 SMBs with revenues between $500,000 and $100 million to explore how all-in-one solutions can exceed customer expectations. SMEs and help sustain their activities.