PulseWallet: a Phenomenon in Biometric Payments

Shoppers sometimes face an awkward moment at the point of sale when they realize they aren’t carrying their payment cards or don’t have enough change to make a payment. PulseWallet is a savior in this regard, enabling cardless payment by a simple scan of the user’s hand.

Cashless payments have become popular, first with the advent of payment cards and then with the arrival of mobile-based payments. Biometrics is also finding a revolutionary use in transactions focusing on safety and security. PulseWallet demonstrates a cardless shopping future, replacing current payment methods with biometrics.

PulseWallet is a credit-card terminal that requires a one-time pairing of the vein pattern in a user’s hand with the user’s credit-card information, photographing the vein pattern with a built-in infrared camera. Once the pairing is done, any other PulseWallet terminal can be used for making payments.

The technology has been designed to relieve shoppers of the burden of remembering codes and passwords for their credit cards. It uses a technology similar to that of NFC but requires no chip-based hardware. PulseWallet uses Fujitsu’s palm-vein-sensor technology, PalmSecure. The sensor shines a near-infrared light that captures the vein pattern on a person’s palm from a close proximity, and the info is compared with that of preregistered users. Fujitsu says the vascular pattern cannot be duplicated and provides low false-accept and -reject rates. A dedicated cloud infrastructure is used in the back end to store the vascular data.

According to a report by Capgemini and RBS Group, global noncash transactions amounted to $307 billion in 2013. PulseWallet is looking to disrupt this market, targeting the consumer-to-business (C2B) payment segment, since the product is more oriented toward individual customer needs.

With big brands such as Apple and Samsung also focused on the field, it’s clear that biometric authentication is here to stay. In the area of payments, where authentication is required the most, expect merchants to replace the old POS terminals with those having capabilities like that of PulseWallet.