Biometric Authentication gained quite some attention during 2013 with Danal, Zwipe and a few other notable companies entering the space and even dishing out some products. Now PulseWallet, an Electronic transaction POS provider, demonstrated their innovative cardless POS solution at CES (Consumer Electronics Show) international between the 7th and 10th of January, 2014 in Las Vegas.
PulseWallet was Co-Founded in November 2011 by Aimann Rasheed (CEO) and Matt Saricicek (CTO). Its solution already enables users to pay for products with just their finger but the problem with that setup is that the fingerprints can potentially be lifted according to the company. Now PulseWallet is converting to a more secure biometric technology that “combines data on palm vein patterns with fingerprint data from three fingers."
PulseWallet partnered with Fujitsu Frontech to make use of their PalmSecure biometric technology. The integrated PalmSecure vein imaging technology allows merchants to provide a secure payment option, whilst giving users an all-in-one payment system for them to access their eWallets.
How does it work? This video gives you an overview:
- After the customer visits a store once, he can register his palm and link it to the credit card of his choosing.
- Then, the store will have it on record the next time the user visits the outlet.
- For payment, the user can swipe his palm, after which he will be required to enter his phone number to verify it's really him.
Some features of Pulse Wallet:
All in One: PulseWallet helps users manage all their credit cards, reward cards, coupons, transactions.
Digital Receipts: The user can see what he purchased and where he purchased it from. No more paper receipts.
Financial Management: The user can track how he is spending, by day, week or month. Compare this to previous periods.
Social Payments: He can easily help out a friend in need and transfer money in between accounts and sub-accounts.
Privacy and Security: PulseWallet says that it values their customers information and privacy, “our systems are unique to us and us only,” they state on their website.
“We’re very excited to be launching PulseWallet at an event like CES. For the first time the public will see how smoothly and efficiently the complete solution, integrated with Fujitsu’s PalmSecure technology, works for merchants and consumers alike,” said Aimann Rasheed. “We encourage all attendees to visit our booth to see and experience the future of fast, accurate and flexible POS, today.”
The exact release date of this new payment enabling technology has not been disclosed. However their display at the Consumer Electronics Show did look like an exciting preview into how merchants and retailers may use biometric scanners in the future to process payments.
There have been quite a few forays into biometric authentication in the last year:
1) In January 2013, Fingerprint Cards, a biometric-security company based out of Sweden, announced that a Japanese OEM is planning to introduce mobile phones with fingerprint authentication very soon. The technology was claimed to be working similar to the fingerprint reader which prevents unauthorized access of the handsets. For Japan’s handset manufacturers, the focus on fingerprint based authentication could be an attempt to differentiate their handsets from those of the competitors as the Japanese players are struggling to keep up with the competition in Global handset marketplace. Kyocera, Panasonic, Sharp and Sony are among the nation’s largest phone makers.
2) Apple made lots of buzz with its new Touch ID fingerprint sensor during the iPhone 5sunveiling. The writing was on the wall, as in August, Apple had signed a $350 million deal withAuthenTec, a company known for having its own fingerprint authentication and encryption technology.
3) South Korean players are not far behind. In October 2013, Danal, a mobile payment provider, came up with “the BarTong app”, using fingerprint technologies of “Crucialtec”, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of Optical Track Pad (OTP) mobile input devices. As of now, The app is available only in South Korea, but its creator is looking to expand the payment service into the US and China. It should not surprise us to see players like Samsung & LG using such apps on their handsets.
4) YC backed startup PayTango, seeks to enable customers to pay via Fingerprint Scan.
PayTango was Co-Founded by 4 CMU (Carnegie Mellon University) graduates – Brian Groudan, Kelly Lau-Kee, Umang Patel (CEO) and Christian Reyes in August 2012. The company has received a total funding of $700K through investors Y-Combinator and Andreessen Horowitz in Seed Round.
PayTango’s system links a form of payment such as debit or credit card, to a user’s fingerprint. He will then have to only place his index finger and middle finger on the biometric fingerprint scanner to make payment. The software immediately recognizes the user.
5) The Electronic Access Control Market is estimated to reach $16.3 Bn by 2017 and is increasing at a CAGR of 7% according to Reportlinker.com. On 2nd December 2013, Zwipe launched a biometric access card with fingerprint touch sensors with the help of a firm called Fingerprint Cards. The new card is ISO 14443 compliant and is multi-functional. Interest in Authentication in general and Biometric access in particular, is at an all time high in technology circles now (partly due to iPhone 5s).