A new biometric payment system, which uses the unique vein pattern in your fingertips as a form of readable identification, is trialling in a London supermarket.
Cost cutter has said that if the test, being held at Brunel University, is successful, it would consider rolling out the Fingopay service more widely.
An electronic reader generates a unique key by mapping the user’s finger veins.
During the registration process user link their finger pattern to their credit or debit card, which can then be used to pay for goods without needing to carry cash or cards.
Hitachi has developed the technology, while biometric payment company Sthaler has been licensed to distribute and use it within the retail sector.
Chief Executive of Sthaler, Nick Dryden, says the system would appeal to young people.
“Today’s millennial generation now expects a higher level of ease, security and efficiency from the way that we pay,” he said.
James Budkiewicz, assistant director of the commercial directorate at Brunel University London, said that it would give students “the opportunity to take cash off campus, benefiting not just customers, but our retailers too”.
A spokeswoman for Costcutter said: “We will be interested to see the results and will decide next steps at that point.”
In 2014, Barclays bank introduced the same Hitachi-developed technology for its corporate customers when a finger vein desktop reader was rolled out, while earlier this year 2,000 customers signed up for Fingopay when it was trialled at a bar in Camden.
According to Sthaler, this method is “the safest form of biometrics with no known breaches” while security consultant Graham Cluley said “There have been fingerprint biometric systems in the past that have been easily tricked.
“The problem with biometrics is that you can’t change it, so if someone gets hold of your information and reproduces it, what are you going to do? You can’t change your finger.
“I do wonder why there is such an urgent push to use this technology rather than the traditional methods of identifying yourself.”
Professor Alan Woodward from the University of Surrey said that a system relying on vein patterns was more secure.
“This is a good thing to do,” he said. “With this system, blood needs to be flowing through the veins so you can prove it is a real, live person using it, which is much harder to spoof.”