Patrick Palm When he pays at a store or restaurant, things get mixed up for a moment and all curious eyes turn to him. That’s because Paumen, 37, doesn’t need to use a debit card or mobile phone to pay. Instead, he brings his left hand close to the contactless card reader and the payment is made.
According to the BBC report “The reactions of the cashiers are priceless.“, says Paumen, a Dutch security guard. He can pay with his hand, because a contactless payment chip was injected under his skin in 2019.the procedure hurts like someone is pinching your skin‘ he describes.
The chip under the skin of Paumen’s left hand is revealed by glowing when it comes into close contact with a payment machine.
In terms of payment chips integrated under the skin, the Anglo-Polish firm Wallet mor, claims to have been the first company to offer them for sale last year. Founder and CEO Wojtek PaprotaThe 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 therefore be used wherever contactless payment is accepted” said.
Weighing less than a gram and slightly larger than a grain of rice, Walletmor’s chip consists of a small microchip and an antenna embedded in biopolymer, a naturally occurring material similar to plastic. Paprota claims that it is completely safe, has regulatory approval, works immediately after implantation and will stay firmly in place. It also does not require batteries or any other power source. The company says it currently sells over 500 chips.
The technology used by Walletmor is NFC, the near field communication or contactless payment system on smartphones. Other payment implants rely on radio frequency identification (RFID), a similar technology typically found in physical contactless debit and credit cards.
The idea of integrating such a chip into our body is scary. But a survey of over 4,000 people in the UK and EU in 2021 finds 51% will consider it. However, the report “invasion and security issues continue to be of great concern” watch.
Paumen says he has none of these concerns: “Chip implants contain the same technology that people use every day. It’s already there for everything from key fobs to unlocking doors, public transport cards like the London Oyster card or debit cards with contactless payment functionality.“Paumen adds that he doesn’t worry about where he is.
But the question with such chips is whether they will be more advanced in the future and not be inundated with a person’s private data. And there are questions and concerns about whether this information is safe and whether a person can actually be tracked.
“Technology has a dark side that has the potential for abuse. Who owns the data? Who has access to the data? And is it ethical to chip people like we do with pets?” said.
Steven Northam, senior lecturer at the University of Winchester, says the concerns are unfounded. According to the news, Northam is the founder of the British company BioTeq, which has been producing contactless implants and chips since 2017, in addition to his university studies. Their implants are for people with disabilities who can use chips to automatically open doors.
Northam said: “We have done over 500 implants in the UK but Covid has caused some reduction. This technology has been used in animals for years. They are very small, immobile objects. No risk.”
Paumen’s body has a total of 32 implants, including embedded chips and magnets to open doors.