New Technology Allows Users to Pay with Their Palm

Nov 26, 2015 — Allan Pulga

WIFR News in Rockford, Ill. reported yesterday (Nov. 25) on technology that allows you to pay, not with a card or your phone, but with the palm of your hand.

PEAK Sports Club in nearby Perryville, Ill. is the first business in the Midwest U.S. to offer the technology, which is developed by a New York-based company called Biyo Technology. Gym members are able to buy drinks, shakes, energy bars and the like from the gym's cafe, called Thrive Café, and pay with their palms.

This technology is handy for routine retail locations (gyms and cafeterias), but not for conventional retailers.

"The device scans the unique pattern of the veins in our hands and we pay with our own identification," wrote WIFR News' Whitney Martin.

Although interesting, I feel like the device's retail use is limited. First of all, it works in a gym or an office cafeteria because these are businesses at that you're regularly frequenting, often on a daily basis.

But it wouldn't exactly work at a restaurant in a foreign city, or at a department store that already has its own payment systems in place. More importantly, why would said department store implement Biyo Technology payment terminals to accept palm payments, when it already has EMV/NFC-enabled devices in place? Why would a retailer track all of its customers' palm prints and store them in a database, just to offer this extraneous convenience?

Why would a retailer track all of its customers' palm prints, just to offer this extraneous convenience?

Why not pay by thumbprint? Too invasive compared to palms? What about palm data -- is there a larger consumer privacy issue, if mainstream retailers suddenly have palm/blood vessel data on all their customers? I don't know.

There is a reason why technology like Apple Pay, with its NFC tap-to-pay technology and one-time transaction tokenization security, solves a problem for retailers and customers. I just don't see the same potential for something like Biyo Techology, whose use cases are far more limited.

Topics: Privacy, Retail Operations, Wireless Trends

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