First Cashless Checkout with Finger Vein Scan

Nicholas West

The march toward a cashless society has now moved from the  theoretical to the phase of widespread adoption. This is primarily due  to developments in the tech sector that now enable the easy use of  biometric recognition systems, as well as the increasing acceptance from  a public who is becoming familiar with turning themselves into a password for their personal devices.

Behind the scenes, governments and corporations have been building the political and economic enticements via the Better Than Cash Alliance  to ensure that the world eventually gets “de-cashed.” We’re now  witnessing the full roll-out of an architecture that has been in  development for many years.

China’s high-tech KFC  recently made headlines when it began testing facial recognition  payments in its KPRO store. Cashless agenda denialists, however, could  readily point to China’s authoritarian government to ease any fears  about an impending technocratic takeover occurring in the (supposedly)  more democratic West.

Well, today’s cashless agenda news does come from the West, and it’s a world’s first.  As reported by The Telegraph, London’s Costcutter supermarket has announced that its shoppers can now pay by finger vein scan.

It works by using infrared to scan people’s finger veins and  then links this unique biometric map to their bank cards. Customers’  bank details are then stored with payment provider Worldpay, in the same  way you can store your card details when shopping online. Shoppers can  then turn up to the supermarket with nothing on them but their own hands  and use it to make payments in just three seconds.

Nice and convenient, of course.

Longtime readers of Activist Post might remember an article by Brandon Turbeville written in 2011  warning that this was being tested as a future payment system.  Remarking at the time about how smartphone payments would eventually  seem outdated, he explained:

Taking the cashless control grid one step further, an article published on August 8, 2011 in Technology Review, entitled “Beyond Cell Phone Wallets, Biometrics Promise Truly Wallet-Free Future,”  explains that major corporations are not even waiting for the “digital  wallet” to catch on. They are actually moving forward with a system that  will allow for an individual to swipe their palm, not their phone, in  front of a digital recognition device in order to gain access to various  buildings, pay for merchandise, or otherwise identify oneself.

Indeed, this new type of technology, even this specific product, is already being introduced all over the United States.

For instance, New York University’s Langone Medical Center has  already implemented the vein scanners in some of its medical facilities.  Manufactured by Fujitsu, the scanners are being placed in the hospital under the guise of greater convenience  (the marketing gift that keeps on giving) and faster access to medical  records. Health histories, insurance forms, and other documents are all  handled electronically and at a much faster pace with the help of the  new vein scanners.

Schools, too, have begun to implement the Fujitsu systems. For instance, the Pinellas County School District in Florida recently announced that it was introducing the system in order “to identify students and thereby reduce waste and the threat of impersonation.”

With the new scanners, the students are able to have their meals  deducted from their account, upon scanning their palms, as they march  single file in the feeding lines during lunch time. Of course, this type  of technology is not new to Pinellas County. The students have been finger scanning in order to gain access to their lunch for years.

Naturally, these days not everyone is worried only about the  intrusive nature of turning one’s body into a password to be mined by  algorithms for corporations and governments, but just as legitimately  about having their financial data hacked.

No worries, says the developer of the newest form of vein scanning,  Sthaler. Although company director, Simon Binns, manages to sound creepy  and objectifying even while trying to reassure the vein-scanning  public:

This is the safest form of biometrics. There are no known incidences where this security has been breached.

“When you put your finger in the scanner it checks you are alive, it  checks for a pulse, it checks for haemoglobin. ‘Your vein pattern is  secure because it is kept on a database in an encrypted form, as binary  numbers. No card details are stored with the retailer or ourselves, it  is held with Worldpay, in the same way it is when you buy online.”

System developers are projecting that adoption of the technology will  be rapid, with perhaps thousands of stores, nightclubs and membership  services getting on board in the near future. The question is: Will it  be optional? And if so, for how long?

As Brandon Turbeville concluded more than 6 years ago:

It should be noted that almost every element of any  control grid begins by being optional when it is first introduced to the  target population. But, as more and more individuals acquiesce to the  system, the more inconvenient and, subsequently, the harder it will  become for the rest of us to opt out. Eventually, the ability to opt out  will be removed altogether.

Nicholas West writes for ActivistPost.com. He also writes for Counter Markets agorist newsletter. Follow us at Twitter and Steemit.

This article may be freely republished in part or in full with author attribution and source link

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