Bio-compatible NFC implant lets consumers make contactless payments with their hand

Consumers in the European Union and the UK can now make contactless payments using an NFC implant in their hand that is compliant with ISO 10993 biocompatibility standards.

The batteryless implant is embedded under a user’s skin and is linked to a preloaded online account, enabling them to make contactless payments wherever “most popular credit or debit cards” are accepted.

“The Walletmor payment implant is a small device, the size of a safety pin and about half a millimetre thick, consisting of an integrated circuit and a metal sheath acting as an antenna, enclosed in a hermetic bio-housing,” the British-Polish start-up that developed the device explains.

“The biopolymer — technically speaking — is the so-called medical plastic for the production of medical devices, which has current biocompatibility certificates confirming compliance with the ISO 10993 standard.”

“Importantly, the implant is a passive device and does not have its own power source,” Walletmor adds.

“It does not generate any radio waves on its own and is only activated with a contactless payment terminal, and only at a very short distance. It’s impossible to track someone with a Walletmor implant.”

Once they have ordered the NFC payment implant, users open and add funds to an account on the European iCard platform before having the device implanted at a hospital, clinic or aesthetic medicine laboratory that offers the service.

“Implantation is painless and takes only 15 minutes,” Walletmor says.

A short video shows how users set up and use the payment implant.

– NFCW –


Just over two-thirds of consumers globally (67%) now expect bricks-and-mortar retail stores to accept contactless payments and just under half (44%) wouldn’t shop at a store that only offers payment methods that require contact with a cashier or shared device, a survey of merchants and consumers in nine countries around the world has found.

The fifth edition of The Visa Back to Business Study also found that 68% of consumers say that the Covid-19 pandemic has permanently changed how they make payments “with a preference on safer and touchless ways to pay” and that 60% expect to use contactless payments whenever possible in the next three months.

Nearly three-quarters of small businesses (74%) say they expect customers to prefer contactless payments as much or more than they do now in future and 40% identify contactless payments as “a critical investment area to meet a new wave of expectations”, according to the survey.

The survey also shows regional variations, with 73% of consumers in the United Arab Emirates saying they would not shop at a store where contactless payments are not accepted compared with 30% in Russia.

The percentage of consumers expecting retail stores to accept contactless payments also ranges from 54% in the USA to 69% in Germany, 74% in Russia, 75% in Canada and 82% in Ireland.

“The pandemic has dramatically increased consumers’ concern with touching cash and payment readers and correspondingly increased the desire to tap and pay,” Visa says.

“Stores that don’t accept contactless payments could run an increased risk of losing customers as a result.

“Previous research from Visa also found that, of the UK small businesses surveyed which were confident of bouncing back from the pandemic, two thirds (67%) said that their in-store experience for customers has improved due to the acceptance of contactless and digital payments.”

Survey participants included 2,250 small business owners in Brazil, Canada, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Russia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the USA, 1,000 adult consumers in the US and 500 adult consumers in the other eight countries. It was conducted by Wakefield Research for Visa in June.

– NFCW –


More than three in four cashless payments made in Germany (77%), Austria (80%) and Switzerland (82%) are now contactless — a rise of more than 35 percentage points from an average of 40% across the three countries in June 2019, according to figures published by Nordic payments processor Nets.

The findings also show that the retail outlets recording the highest contactless payment rates in the three countries are supermarkets (87%) and bakeries (94%) “where almost everyone pays contactlessly when paying with a card or smartphone”.

The increase puts Germany, Austria and Switzerland — also known as the DACH region — “on a level field with the Nordics”, where average contactless adoption rose from 56% in January 2020 to 75% in January 2021, with Norway seeing “extreme growth” from 35% to 79% over the same period, Nets says.

“The pandemic has significantly accelerated a steadily growing trend in the DACH regions,” says Nets CEO Robert Hoffman.

“It was inevitable that Germany, Austria and Switzerland would ultimately achieve high levels of contactless payment adoption, but without this catalyst, it would have taken years to reach where it is today.

“An increasing number of merchants here are now offering and actively encouraging tap-and-go, which is becoming the norm for consumers.”

– NFCW –


The total number of digital ticketing transactions worldwide will increase by 62% from 20.8bn in 2021 to 33.8bn in 2023, with bus and metro ticketing accounting for one in three (33%) of those transactions, according to a forecast by Juniper Research.

The researchers also predict that more than 23% of all global digital ticketing transactions will be contactless by 2026, compared with 10% in 2019.

“Contactless ticketing is thriving in the pandemic recovery,” the researchers say. “As many transit operators expanded their contactless rollouts mid-pandemic, this has accelerated digital ticketing adoption.

“The report predicts that as contactless payments accelerate via a permanent shift in consumer behaviour post-pandemic, this will be reflected in the ticketing space, with transit increasingly dominated by contactless ticketing.”

– NFCW –


More than four fifths of consumers (81%) worldwide are ready to use a biometric payment card and authenticate payments with their fingerprint rather than a PIN code, according to a survey commissioned by a biometric technology provider.

The survey — which was conducted across 14 countries — and also shows that 94% of consumers surveyed in Saudi Arabia, 92% in India, 88% in Brazil and 86% in South Africa feel ready to use fingerprint authentication for in-store payments compared with 73% in Australia, 70% in the UK and 69% in the US.

Almost three quarters of respondents (74%) also said that they have a positive attitude towards biometric technology with people from emerging economies (90%) and consumers aged under 49 (79%) being “the most enthusiastic about biometrics”.

It also found that 84% of those surveyed have used biometric authentication methods for tasks such as unlocking their smartphone, with 70% having used their fingerprint, 43% their face, 25% their voice and 17% their iris to verify their identity.

“As biometric usage spreads across the planet and consumers continue to warm to the idea of streamlined, hassle free — yet totally secure — authentication, use cases will proliferate,” says the report’s commissioner, Idemia.

“For example, 51% of global consumers would like to use a biometric card to gain access to a secured building and 34% want to see this technology integrated into their transportation pass.”

– NFCW –


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