June 12 - A new biometric system of payment where shoppers pay for goods with a scan of the veins in their hand, has been launched in Sweden. The Quixter biometric device is being used at bars and restaurants on the campus of Lund University where it's proving to be a popular alternative to cash and credit cards. Jim Drury went to see Quixter in action.
Fed up with waiting in long supermarket queues, Fredrik Liefland thought there must be an easier way to shop. SOUNDBITE (English) FREDRIK LEIFLAND, INVENTOR AND FOUNDER OF QUIXTER, SAYING: "I had some time thinking 'what was it that took time in the point of sale?', and I saw that the payment process was quite inconvenient and then I thought there must be a better way to pay." So the Lund University student devised Quixter - a payment system that marries vein scanning technology with a person's bank details. SOUNDBITE (English) FREDRIK LEIFLAND, INVENTOR AND FOUNDER OF QUIXTER, SAYING: "We needed to take the technology and connect it to the financial sector, to the bank accounts, and that's been a long and hard process, and then we needed to find a way to make the package, the product, into a simple one." It's certainly simple. Users type in the last four digits of their phone number and place their palm above a reader at the checkout for five seconds before money is automatically debited from their bank account. Registration is also easy. Students scan their palm at a Quixter terminal and type their social security and phone numbers into the machine. We've heard a lot recently about the problems of identity theft caused, some might say, by our over-reliance on modern technology. How will Quixter be any different? SOUNDBITE (English) FREDRIK LEIFLAND, INVENTOR AND FOUNDER OF QUIXTER, SAYING: "The vein pattern in your palm is unique for every person, so it's a very secure solution, and it's not possible to extract the vein pattern. It's inside your hand, so it's not visible for the human eye or for ordinary cameras, so it's very secure." So far around 2,000 people on campus are using Quixter at 15 food outlets. SOUNDBITE (English) VIKTOR KJELLIN (PRON: SHELLIN), STUDENT, SAYING: "It's really good. I don't have to worry about having cash with me to campus, so it's really handy." SOUNDBITE (English) HANNA SVENSTRUP, STUDENT, SAYING: "I think it's very quick and easy. It's easy to use and you can pay very very fast, so I think it's very good actually. And I think it's safe, it feels safe when you're like leaning on your hand to the system and it's like reading your veins." Leifland plans to expand Quixter outside the university. He hopes that within five years he'll be using it for 90 percent of his purchases...without ever having to stand in line again.