- Daily Zen
The next time you forget your wallet, worry not. A hand implanted microchip is all you need.
A London-based tech company has completely redefined the meaning of the term — to lend a hand — when it comes to financial transactions. Walletmor has come up with a hand implanted microchip to speed up the payments process. Designing the wallet of tomorrow, as the company site claims, they wish to make contactless payments popular with their hand implanted microchip.
The microchip implanted would be fitted inside a person’s hand and used like a credit card. The implant will retail for around $299 and is roughly the size of a grain of rice. The chip itself contains a tiny microchip and an antenna encased in a biopolymer. Biopolymer technology is the best alternative to non-degradable plastics.
It works on near-field communication (NFC) to transfer payment and information. It’s the same technology that is used in smartphones to make contactless payments. Chips are an extension of the Internet of Things (IoT).
As per the British-Polish company, the hand implanted microchip and antenna are encased in naturally sourced materials. The company says that “the sterile, solid, biocompatible, and hypoallergenic materials provide the highest safety standards for your body and health.” The microchip implants do not require any kind of battery and are medically safe. The Walletmor payment implants are linkable with Purewrist accounts, a digital wallet where one can store funds. Customers will need to download the app and visit an installation specialist to get the microchip implant. After registering on the app, individuals must create an account to start allocating funds.
In recent years, especially since the pandemic, more and more people have turned to contactless or tap-to-pay payments, as they try to avoid physical contact. By 2025, the contactless payments market in the US is expected to hit $358 billion, according to the Statista Research Department. In its January 2022, earnings call, Visa reported that nearly 20% of all in-person credit and debit transactions are now contactless. In fact, tapping a card is much more popular than using Google Pay or Apple Pay.
In a video released by the company, Walletmor founder and CEO Wojtek Paprota assures potential customers that the hand implanted microchip does not have any source of power nor does it emit any radio waves. He goes on to add that it can only authorize payments when it is at a short distance from a payment terminal, which “eliminates the risk of unwanted transactions.”
Talking about its usefulness, he told the BBC that “the implant can be used to pay for a drink on the beach in Rio, a coffee in New York, a haircut in Paris — or at your local grocery store. It can be used wherever contactless payments are accepted.” Mr Paprota mentions that the firm has already sold over 500 units.
The skin incision for the implant will most likely be seven millimeters long and the procedure hardly takes five minutes, and must be done by a specialist. The company is the first of its kind to sell these types of chips using biopolymer technology.
The 3d secure system encrypts all the transactions made by the customer. He assures people that it does not violate any privacy regulations as it works like a standard credit card and doesn’t have any in-built GPS system to track one’s location or activity. Mr Paprota goes on to compare a credit card which has all its information recorded on the surface while implants do not have that feature, keeping information secure.
Even though the hand implanted microchip is safe enough to be inserted into one’s body, it raises questions about privacy, security, and tracking. Some experts are wary that over time such chips could become chock-full of a person’s private data.