Dankort partners with London fintech Sthaler for Fingopay tech
25 April 2018 14:07 GMT

Danish debit card giant Dankort has teamed with British fintech firm Sthaler to create a self-service payment system that requires no cash, cards or mobile at point of sale.

The world first will allow students at the Copenhagen Business School (CBS) to make a purchase in a restaurant and coffee shop using only their finger. And the ground-breaking project will pave the way for more Anglo-Danish cooperation, as UK businesses define their role in a post-Brexit world.

Sthaler’s Fingopay reader uses Hitachi’s VeinID technology. Infrared light maps the unique 3D pattern of veins in a customer’s finger. This biometric signature is a one-of-a-kind personal identifier. It can be used to verify identity and payment in seconds. It’s fast, safe and simple. The 21,000 CBS students and 600+ full-time academic staff will be able to use Fingopay in their campus canteen from April 25 2018.

Customers at the Costcutter store on campus at Brunel University in London are already paying at the till using Fingopay to identify themselves. But the CBS launch by Dankort and Sthaler will extend the solution to a self-service restaurant environment.

Finger vein payments are used widely at cash points in Poland, Turkey and Japan. Vein scanners are also used in accessing high-security buildings, for workforce management, verifying identity and authorising high value transactions for banking customers across Northern Europe.

Simon Binns, Director of Sthaler, says: “We are excited to be working with an industry leader such as Dankort, and bringing finger vein technology in payments to Denmark for the very first time. This announcement follows our successful installation of Fingopay at Brunel University London and will primarily be used in a self-service environment – a first for the business. We have been working closely with the Nets innovation team for nine months and this significant launch at Copenhagen Business School is the culmination of our combined efforts.”

Jeppe Juul-Andersen, head of Dankort at Nets, says: “Technology is developing extremely fast. We've talked about mobile payments as the newest new. Now the mobile itself becomes redundant.”

He adds that in the future, the Dankort card will not necessarily always be plastic. Whether that future is app-based or biometric, Dankort see this as a first step beyond physical cards. Fingopay has already been introduced into a higher education environment, with more than 1,000 students at Brunel University signed up to pay for their groceries, with only their finger.

Esben Torpe Jørgensen, Director of Development and Governance at Nets, says : “We think that biometrics is the future, and we want to see, whether people are ready to pay in this way and investigate use cases where biometrics payments can be an advance to physical cards or mobile.”

He adds that Fingopay looks “a lot like the future of supermarkets, where the customer helps themselves, with themselves”.

The launch at CBS comes as previous studies have identified weaknesses with fingerprint recognition, used widely on mobile phones. It is vulnerable to being hacked and can be copied even from finger smears left on phone screens. But VeinID, which relies on internal biometric, cannot be copied or stolen. The Copenhagen Business School project was developed by Sthaler in partnership with Bizie.