Chips that allow hand payment – 04/15/2022 – Market

Dutchman Patrick Baumen, 37, causes a stir when he pays for something in a shop or restaurant.

No need to use cash, bank card or cell phone to pay. Instead, he places his left hand near the card reader and the payment is made.

“The feedback I get from the cashiers is invaluable,” says Baumen, who works as a security guard.

He is only able to pay with his hand because in 2019 he got a micropayment chip injected under his skin.

“This procedure hurts as much as a pinching of the skin,” Baumin says.

The first time an electronic chip was implanted in a human was in 1998, but it is only in the last decade that this technology has become commercially available.

Anglo-Polish company Walletmor says it became the first company last year to offer implantable payment chips for sale.

“The implants can be used to buy a drink on the beach in Rio, a coffee shop in New York, or a haircut in Paris — or at your local supermarket,” says founder and CEO Vojtek Paprota. It can be used anywhere contactless payments are accepted.

The Walletmor chip, which weighs less than a gram and is barely larger than a grain of rice, consists of a microchip and antenna coated with a biopolymer – a material of natural origin, similar to plastic.

The chip is completely safe, has regulatory approval, and works immediately after implantation, says Pabrota. It also does not require a battery or other source. The company says it has sold more than 500 chips.

The technology Walletmor uses is Near Field Communication, or NFC – a smartphone contactless payment system. Other payment implants rely on radio frequency identification (RFID), a similar technology typically found on physical contactless credit and debit cards.

For many of us, the idea of ​​having a chip implanted in our body is terrifying, but a 2021 survey of more than 4,000 people in the UK and EU found that 51% would consider getting an implant.

But the report added, without providing a percentage, that “intrusion and security issues remain a major concern” for respondents.

Baumin says he has none of those concerns.

He says: “Chip implants contain the same kind of technology that people use every day, from key chains to unlocking doors, and public transit cards like the Oyster card. [do transporte público de Londres] Or bank cards with contactless payment functionality. “

“The reading distance is limited by a small antenna coil inside the implant. The implant must be within the electromagnetic field of the RFID reader.” [ou NFC]. Only when there is magnetic coupling between the reader and the transceiver can the implant be read.”

He adds that he’s not worried about his whereabouts being tracked.

“RFID chips are used on pets to identify them when they are lost,” he says. “But you can’t locate them with the RFID chip implant – the missing animal has to be physically found. Then the whole body is scanned until the RFID chip implant is found and read.”

However, the problem with these chips (and what causes concern) is whether in the future they will become more advanced and filled with a person’s private data. and whether this information is secure and whether the person can in fact be tracked.

Fintech expert Theodora Lau is co-author of Beyond Good: How Technology is Driving a Business-Driven Revolution.

It says the implanted payment chips are just an “extension of the Internet of Things”. In other words, it is a new way of communication and data exchange.

However, while she says that many people are open to the idea – because it will make paying for things faster and easier – the benefit must be weighed against the risks. Especially as the chips begin to carry more personal information.

She says, “How much are we willing to pay for the facilitation?” “Where do we draw the line when it comes to privacy and security? Who will protect critical infrastructure and the people who are a part of it?”

Nada Kakabadsi, professor of politics, governance and ethics at the University of Reading’s Henley School of Business, is also cautious about the future of more advanced chips.

“There is a dark side to technology that can be misused,” she says. “For those who do not like individual freedom, it opens up tempting new visions of control, manipulation, and oppression. And who owns the data? Who has access to the data? And is it ethical to cut people down like pets?”

The result, she warned, could be “weakening the many for the benefit of the few”.

Stephen Northam, professor of innovation and entrepreneurship at the University of Winchester, says the concerns are unwarranted. In addition to his academic work, he is the founder of the British company BioTeq, which has been manufacturing wireless implantable chips since 2017.

Their implants are aimed at people with disabilities who can use chips to open doors automatically.

“We have daily appointments, we’ve had over 500 transplants in the UK – but Covid has caused some drop in demand,” he says.

“This technology has been used in animals for years,” he argues. “These are small, idle things. There are no risks.”

In the Netherlands, Baumen describes himself as a “bio hacker” – someone who puts bits of technology into his body to try to improve his performance. It has 32 implants in total, including door opener chips and built-in magnets.

“Technology keeps evolving, so I keep collecting more,” he says. “My implants improve my body,” he says. “I don’t want to live without them.”

“There will always be people who don’t want to modify their bodies. We should respect that — and they should respect us as biohackers.”

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