Move over Apple Pay - Hitachi has created a fingerprint payment system

Apple Pay campus
Apple Pay campus (Image credit: Apple)

What you need to know

  • Apple Pay may one day be supplanted by new technology from Hitachi.
  • The company has reportedly created a finger vein-based biometric authentication system.
  • It can be used to check-in to hotels or make payments in shops with nothing more than your finger.

A new biometric finger vein-based biometric authentication system could one day replace your smartphone as the easiest way to pay for goods and services.

Nikkei Asia reports that Hitachi has developed just such a system for payments using only your finger:

Hitachi has developed a finger vein-based biometrics authentication system to enable the user to check in to a hotel or make payments at shops without a credit card or a smartphone, Nikkei has learned.

The report says that by simply placing a finger over a reader, terminals can identify the user to obtain information such as credit card details for payment, but also information such as age or vaccination records, suggesting the system could also be used as a way to verify age and to aid travel.

The report says the new tech "will make it unnecessary for the shopper to carry a credit card or a smartphone for shopping" and will speed up transactions including purposes and check-ins. The service will reportedly be offered to hotels and retailers this financial year, and shoppers will need to register their finger vein and other personal information in advance to use it.

Once enabled, the system can reportedly cut transaction times by "at least 40 seconds." Uses beyond the immediate application of paying for goods listed include "loyalty points, food allergies, professional qualifications, and proof of age, and make various transactions including buying alcohol or applying for a job much simpler."

The report says that blockchain technology will keep a record of data retrievals and ensure the authenticity of the information, with Hitachi itself not owning any of the personal data.

The payment system of the future could see services like Apple Pay become obsolete as it requires no user-end hardware to use. Apple Pay is currently one of the best iPhone features of devices like the iPhone 13, enabling safe and secure payments at retailers and now between devices thanks to Tap to Pay on iOS 15.

Stephen Warwick
News Editor

Stephen Warwick has written about Apple for five years at iMore and previously elsewhere. He covers all of iMore's latest breaking news regarding all of Apple's products and services, both hardware and software. Stephen has interviewed industry experts in a range of fields including finance, litigation, security, and more. He also specializes in curating and reviewing audio hardware and has experience beyond journalism in sound engineering, production, and design. Before becoming a writer Stephen studied Ancient History at University and also worked at Apple for more than two years. Stephen is also a host on the iMore show, a weekly podcast recorded live that discusses the latest in breaking Apple news, as well as featuring fun trivia about all things Apple. Follow him on Twitter @stephenwarwick9