Standing in line is one of the most tedious experiences we all have on a daily basis. Although some places accept NFC payments via smartphone, most don't, so everyone stands at the register, fumbling with their wallets in search of their credit card or cash.
A group of students at Lund University on Sweden decided to come up with a new form of biometric payments that allow you to pay with just the swipe of your palm. All you have to do is press your palm into the device, enter the last four digits of your smartphone number and your payment will be processed.
The device only takes about five seconds to read the movement of blood vessels in your palm and so determine your identity. Once your palm has been confirmed, you have paid for your purchase and the line moves on.
Lund engineering student Fredrik Leifland came up with the idea when he was at the supermarket, standing in a very long line. He saw people rummaging around for their wallets, swiping their cards multiple times and in general, taking a very long time to pay. He immediately thought that there had to be a better way to do this without a wallet, smartphone or physical cash.
Leifland then set to work building the palm reader, forging relationships with Swedish banks and setting up the necessary infrastructure in specific stores and cafes on campus.
"We had to connect all the players ourselves," says Leifland, "which was quite complex: the vein-scanning terminals, the banks, the stores and the customers. The next step was finding ways of packaging it into a solution that was user-friendly."
Quixter is now available in 15 different locations nearby Lund University and is used by 1,600 people regularly. Leifland says that he has plans to expand Quixter, but that the technology will stay in Sweden for the time being.
Quixter isn't the only biometric payment system currently in use around the world. In Japan, some ATMs and banks allow customers to do transactions based on a scan of their palms. The vein-analysis technology has existed for several years, but Quixter is among the first to be used by thousands of people in the Western hemisphere.