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The future of payments - Fingopay

Disrupters from the technology and payments sphere convened to discuss what the future holds for Manchester’s erupting fintech sector at the first Robert Walters 2020 Tech forum in January.

Simon Binns, Chief Marketing Officer at fintech Fingopay explained how Manchester’s thriving tech and academic sectors made it the city of choice to launch their biometric identity and payment solution early this year.

Fingopay is the world’s first identity authentication and payment solution powered by Hitachi’s VeinID technology. Offering fast, safe and secure transactions using just your finger, it takes away the need to carry ID, cash, cards or smartphones. Fingopay makes businesses more efficient, intelligent and secure, and offers a more convenient and worthwhile experience for customers.

Something of a fintech-tech hybrid, Fingopay has ambitious plans to take VeinID beyond solely the payments sector, applying the technology across security and public sector markets.

What’s the science behind Fingopay?

“Fingopay uses a super-secure biometric, which is your finger vein, rather than your fingerprint. Everyone has a unique vein pattern which is revealed by shining infra-red light through the finger, creating a crypto key unique to the individual. However, unlike facial recognition and print technologies, no-one else can acquire your finger vein ID without your knowledge.”

“Vein ID technology was originally founded and developed by [global conglomerate and manufacturer] Hitachi for access control. After a four-year long partnership with Hitachi, we’ve developed the technology further to create a completely new way to pay and access the consumer and vendor markets. This involved launching pilots in multiple locations in the UK and Copenhagen to prove the concept.”

Why launch Fingopay in Manchester?

Fingopay will launch at the XYZ building in Manchester, Spinningfields, in early 2020, allowing individuals to enrol in three simple steps: registering, linking their finger vein ID to their account and adding their payment card.

“Manchester appeals to us from both a consumer and talent perspective. The city has a vibrant and proactive developer market, rich university networks and a strong professional services infrastructure to support us as we fulfil our 2020 development ambitions and continue to deploy Fingopay to vendors across the city.”

“It’s the first time we’ve created a finger pay product in an open-loop context, so merchants can be added instantly, and users can automatically use their finger vein as they’re available on the Cloud. It’s the efficiency, convenience and enhanced security that appeal to our tech-savvy audience – it eliminates the need to carry plastic to pay, as your finger becomes your card and PIN rolled into one.”

Taking the technology further

While Fingopay provides one use-case for Vein ID technology, the company has plans to leverage the technology as a universal identifier to create whole new categories of business.

“The long-game is to open up the technology to new platforms. We started out with the view that Vein ID just provided a more convenient way to pay, but customer feedback has presented us with new opportunities for access control, loyalty and reward and transport.”

“Whilst we might be classed as a fintech, our technology at its core is an identity platform, rather than a payment product in isolation. We’re in talks with councils for example about evolving bus passes to Vein ID, which solves the problem of replacing lost passes. For us, it’s about providing a solution that’s far more secure, without the need for a secondary device.”

What does the future look like?

“In Manchester, by the end of this year we aim to have 10,000 registered users and we want to be in 20 different merchants. The following year, we’ll be working on extending the identity solution to the different universities and more public spaces, and by the end of 2022, we want to be north of 100,000 users across the city.”

“Our enrolment plans form part of our ambitious growth strategy. We’ll be tapping into Manchester’s rich technology and professional services markets to ensure we have the funding and resource to successfully meet these expectations.”

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