Forget cash, cards, or whipping out your smartphone.
Shoppers could soon be paying for goods simply by picking what they want and walking out the door.
It’s simple, really. A chip in each item detects your selection and a 3D scanner above the doorway could check your identity against a database and debit your preferred account.
Rather than being a dystopian vision of the future, online shopping giant Amazon has already made this a reality at its checkout-less Seattle store.
Using the same biometric scanning technology we see at Customs Smartgate kiosks in international airports, customers are able to check in via a smartphone app as they enter the store, which automatically detects when products are taken from or returned to the shelves and keeps track of them in a virtual cart.
It’s little wonder that many central banks are acknowledging that the latest polymer banknotes will probably be the last they print.
But how close are we to having micro-chip implants embedded under our skins to make payments?
Like the Amazon stores, this has also already arrived.
One Swedish startup gives its workers the chance to have microchips the size of grains of rice inserted under their skin that can open doors, operate printers, or buy smoothies with a wave of the hand.
The pace of change sweeping the banking and payment industry is reaching a “tipping point”, according to many academics and banking experts.
Shop assistants are on auto-pilot keying in Eftpos transactions even before checking how consumers intend to pay – and then having to cancel the transaction when someone pulls out a $20 bill.
HSBC bank digital transformation head Jiggy Jizwid says it is combining its internet banking app with Apple’s Siri and voice biometrics, so customers could securely transfer money to a friend just by saying “pay Muhammad $50” to their smartphone.
He says people may want to pay for transport using smart watches or rings, but prefer a different payment device in a posh shop.
We are sure there will be new things that we have never dreamed of!