Mehul DasApril 12, 2022 15:11:41 IST
Imagine this – you went shopping but you forgot your wallet or left it in your car. The digital payment app you usually use is also working, maybe because of network problems, or maybe your bank’s network is just working. Sounds like a nightmare, doesn’t it?
In the good near future, you may very well be able to pay using your hands.
Walletmor, a UK-based fintech firm, has successfully tested and installed a rather unique payment system, using NFC-based microchip implants that are embedded in your hand.
The company’s founders, Wojtek Paprota, and Patrick Paumen, one of the earliest adopters of the technology, have been testing it on themselves since 2019, when Paumen first introduced a microchip that was based on an NFC-based payment system for smartphones.
Poumen describes himself as a “biohacker” – anyone who puts a piece of technology into his body to try to improve his performance. He has a total of 32 implants all over his body, including door opening chips and embedded magnets.
The Waltmore chip is about the size of a grain of rice and weighs less than a gram. The entire unit consists of a tiny microchip and an antenna enclosed in a biopolymer – a naturally occurring material similar to plastic.
The basic premise of the implant is that when it comes in contact with a specific reader, the reader sends an input, usually in the form of a request, which reads the NFC chip, processes it and sends a response, usually the output form. Think about how one uses a metro card or token.
As innovative and unique as this solution is, some people are concerned about microchip placement.
First, there are privacy and security concerns. The main concern is whether the information stored on these chips is secure and whether anyone can be tracked using these chips.
To allay these fears, Paprota and his team decided to use NFC-based technology, far more common than RFID-based technology. NFC chips become active only when they are within the electromagnetic field of a particular type of reader. Since the area of such fields is very small, they remain dormant until used.
The second concern is medical ethics and whether these chips could have an adverse effect on users.
Concerned neo-hippies and their global warming, i’ll tell ya.
The implant is bound to a biopolymer component that has been tested to be biocompatible and hypoallergenic. In addition, any general practitioner can easily remove the implant at any time.