Worldpay tests pay with your finger technology

Worldpay tests pay with your finger technology

Using technology from UK-based biometric startup Sthaler, hundreds of Worldpay employees are trying out a new way to pay - with a scan of their finger.

Worldpay staff taking part in the three-week proof-of-concept have registered their finger vein template to their Visa payment card using Sthaler's ‘Fingopay’ system.

When paying for an item in the staff restaurant, authentication will occur via the use of a FVT reader referenced against tokenised biometric data at the point of sale - with no card required.



The aim is to test the feasibility and value of Sthaler’s Fingopay in a high volume transaction retail environment. The technology is an extension of Hitachi's VeinID, for which Sthaler owns a renewable 10-year license.

Mike Philpotts, innovation partner - authentication, Visa Europe Collab, says: “By testing this technology in a controlled environment, we hope to better understand the practicality, usability and ultimately, the commercial potential for its implementation.”

A recent report by research firm TrendForce forecasts that the market value of biometric identification for financial services applications will increase from US$123 million in 2015 to US$657 million in 2019, driven largely by widespread adoption of vein recognition technology.

Comments: (9)

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 November, 2015, 11:14Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Kudos to WorldPay! With all the buzz about fintech, it is easy to foget who controls the "first line of defence" when it comes to retail payments. There is a great potential for acquire-led innovations, I am sure WorldPay have more things up their sleeves...

Barclays have been playing with the same tech (quite impressive, btw), but so far are only looking to implement it for in-branch user ID.

Large-scale implementation of bio-based payment systems (especially outside the UK) is hard, if not impossible, though - EU laws prohibit storage of bio templates in the cloud.

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 11 November, 2015, 19:50Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Hope Fingopay has better luck than Pay By Touch, the US fingerprint-based PSP that's regularly featured in all league tables of startups that got most heavily funded and flamed out.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 11 November, 2015, 23:06Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Incidentally, pay by Touch was popular with the users. The main (well, one of many) problem with bio-based payments/services is the enrolment process - where and how...

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 November, 2015, 11:21Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

True. In addition Pay By Touch faced a cultural challenge somewhat unique to USA. Many countries in ROW have attempted / succeeded in creating Fingerprint-based Citizen ID systems e.g. India, UK. There were no such systems in the USA when Pay By Touch was around. Fingerprinting was - perhaps still is - associated with criminals who were "printed" after getting arrested. This thwarted scaling up user count to the levels required for Pay By Touch to become sustainable.

Andrei Charniauski
Andrei Charniauski - Misys - London 12 November, 2015, 11:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Agree with Alexander on this one. All bio-auth projects in FS have failed to reach mass market because of the need to deploy customer-facing hardware. Even if regulations permit, I can't see the business case for retailers to invest (again, after NFC) into bio scanners - this is a non-starter in the mass market. I agree it's cool, but does not add value whatsoever.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 12 November, 2015, 11:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Considering that every foreigner who arrives to the USA gets his/her fingerprints scanned, it's more socially acceptable now, I guess...

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 12 November, 2015, 12:36Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@AlexanderPeschkoff: Like I said, fingerprinting was always more culturally acceptable for foreigners. As for that driving greater acceptance within USA because it's carried out at its own borders, well, I won't hold my breath, going by US apathy towards other things like Chip+PIN and 3DS that have been de rigueur for foreigners for ages!

Steven Klebe
Steven Klebe - Google - Mountain View 14 November, 2015, 00:21Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

PayByTouch failed for a lot of reasons, not the least of which was the ineptitude and bravado of the leadership.  The main issue was economic in that the value proposition was based on getting consumers to attach their checking/current account instead of using their credit/debit card but the vast majority ended up choosing the credit/debit card option.

A Finextra member
A Finextra member 14 November, 2015, 05:55Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Steven described the reason why most other (mobile) payment ventures failed or will fail - they did not solve a real problem. I've been banging this drum for a while here: consumers will only take an antibiotic (register/download/adopt) if there is a REAL pain, they mostly ignore vitamins.

But then there are scenarios like Google Wallet. Which failed in the past where Apple Pay makes good traction - despite similar(ish) value proposition. The devil is in detail (an elephant in the room, in this case) - Apple had the whole payment industry on its side, whilst Google was playing it all (mostly) alone.

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