As technology advances at a rapid pace, the idea of skin-implantable microchips is slowly becoming a reality. Although it may sound like an idea straight out of a Black Mirror episode, a company has now developed a microchip that you can choose to implant in your hand to, well, make payment truly wirelessly. Let’s take a look at the details below.
Skin-Implantable Chip for Wireless Payments? Yes, Please!
The idea of a skin-implantable computer chip is not a new idea, per se. Last year, we saw a Swedish company develop a similar microchip that can store and show a user’s COVID-19 vaccination certificate. Now, a British-Polish digital payments company named Walletmor is selling a unique, skin-implantable microchip that can enable users to make NFC-based wireless payments.
“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,” the founder and the CEO of Walletmor, Wojtek Paprota, said in a statement. “It can be used wherever contactless payments are accepted,” he further added.
The skin-implantable payment chip from Walletmor consists of a tiny microchip and an antenna, packed inside a biopolymer, which is a naturally-sourced substitute of plastic. The chip leverages near-field communication (NFC) technology, used in smartphones, for wireless payments. Hence, users can wirelessly pay at any store or retail shop that accepts NFC-based wireless payment.
Furthermore, Paprota notes that the payment chip is completely safe and has been approved by regulatory authorities. It does not require any battery to operate, weighs less than a gram, and is slightly bigger than a single grain of rice.
Walletmor says that after becoming the first company to offer a skin-implantable payment chip commercially last year, it has sold over 500 of them over time. One customer named Patrick Paumen, who got an implant in his hand, says he is able to wireless pay at stores with his hand, without needing a smartphone or a payment card.
“The reactions I get from cashiers are priceless!” said Paumen, “The procedure hurts as much as when someone pinches your skin,” he further added.
Now, coming to the price of the implant, you can get a Walletmor microchip for yourself for €199 (~Rs 16,400). However, it is worth mentioning that the chip will work in selected regions around the world – only where you can open an iCard account. You can go to Walletmor’s official website to know more about its microchip offering. Also, let us know your thoughts on this unique mode of payment down in the comments section.