Sweden Offers Innovative Payment Method

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Hand Print

James Addie, Staff Writer

When you’re in a rush to get your coffee this morning, and possibly have a handful of things, it’s a hassle to have to search for your wallet. New methods of payment such as Apple Pay, where you simply pay with your smart phone, have made it easier when it comes to making purchases. Additionally, there have been smart watches and wristbands that allow the same features of a smart phone. However, if you find yourself in Sweden, you can pay by simply swiping your palm.

Although it sounds futuristic, vein scanners work extremely similar to the fingerprint scanner on newer iPhones and Samsung phones. Similarly to fingerprints, all people have specific and unique veins in their hands. The scanner uses a vein recognition technology to not only see veins visible in one’s palm, but in the whole hand. The scanner takes a picture of the hand using near-infrared light. In blood is hemoglobin which is seen with the infrared light, therefore scanning the veins.

New machines have been installed in many cafés and luncheonettes to scan peoples’ veins to pay for their items. The idea was carried out by a Lund University student, Fredrik Liefland, while he was waiting in a grocery line, becoming extremely impatient. Liefland knew that there had to be an easier way to pay other than using cash or credit cards. After meeting with a group of his fellow classmates, the biometric solution was invented.

These vein scanners may sound less secure, but are actually more secure than paying with a credit card. According to Howstuffworks.com, “As with irises and fingerprints, a person’s veins are completely unique. Twins don’t have identical veins, and a person’s veins differ between their left and right sides.”  Rather than a credit card that can be lost or stolen, no one can really steal someone’s hand.