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In The News
   
 
 

 

In The News

 

January 8 - Will that be cash, credit, fingerprint or iris scan?

Article: Technology For A Global Monetary System

Forget about whipping out your credit card. The next time you have to buy milk, condoms or whatever else you need, some mobile technology and financial companies are hoping you'll give a quick imprint of your finger, scan of your eye or tap of an armband that links to your heartbeat.
 
Once used for getting high-level security clearances and criminal record checks done, biometric security features fingerprints, iris scans and other unique human identifiers are just starting to make inroads as forms of payment. Already, companies like Apple and Samsung have implemented fingerprint-scanning features into their latest smartphones. Their goal? To replace your need for schlepping around a credit card (in favor of a phone number) and remembering a PIN (which could be done through your fingerprint).
 
Meanwhile, banks in countries such as the United Kingdom and Poland are set to release credit cards, online banking features or even ATMs where customers can approve payments or withdraw cash by scanning their finger and having their vein read as a form of ID. In some cases, companies have recently started rolling out this technology.
 
But are biometric payments any safer? After all, changing a credit card number or creating a new password is one thing. But how do you do that with someone's iris or fingerprint? "The problem with fingerprints is that you can never change it, and you don't know how it will be used in the future, so that limits your willingness to try new things that are driven by that thumbprint once it's been stolen," says Blane Warrene, an independent financial services technology analyst. "There's a lot of Pandora's Box in this that has to be thought through."
 
Yet some companies see another opportunity here: Why not introduce an alternative form of gadgetry that can still make payments but without the need for biometrics? Deetectee Microsystems, another Canadian venture, aims to have people submit an application form (the length of which has yet to be determined) to confirm their identity, after which they would get a wearable device that would pair with their smartphone or computer. The device can then be identified by payment terminals up to 30 feet away, which would display your photo as a secondary form of ID. The difference here, says Deetectee co-founder Brian Purdy, is that unlike iris scanners and facial recognition software that can identify anyone from a distance, users will be able to pick and choose who and what is allowed to identify them. Then again, you could always just stick to your credit card.
 

 

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