Cashless payments make our lives easier and allow us to go through our daily tasks faster. Carrying cash is great, but not having cash in a certain situation might cause a lot of inconveniences, especially if you are unable to withdraw money from a nearby ATM or bank. Applications such as Google Pay have become extremely popular across the world, especially since these payment technologies do not even require us to carry a credit or debit card.
Cashless payments are the future, and countries across the world are adopting various cashless payment methods. It is pretty hard to get caught off guard in certain situations such as losing your wallet when you can simply use alternative payment technologies such as UPI (Unified Payments Interface). However, these technologies do require you to have a smartphone and cannot be used without an internet connection.
But, there is a way to carry out cashless payments even without having a phone or even if your phone is out of charge. There are microchip implants that allow us to make payments at a vendor or merchant by just placing our hands near payment terminals or POS (Point of Sales) terminals.
How are Microchip Implants Being Used for Cashless Payments?
The concept of biohacking and embedding various devices in our bodies has existed for a long time. Certain pieces of technology, such as magnetic chips and NFC-enabled devices, allow us to open locks, control other devices and enhance our daily performance. How? These devices inside our bodies interact with other technologies around us to make various tasks easier for us.
For example, by embedding the key or unlocking device inside our bodies, we will not need to carry keys to open our door locks. We can simply touch a panel to unlock the door. Similarly, other technologies that can be embedded inside our bodies allow us to monitor our health.
Microchip-enabled cashless payments are another utility that we can derive from technologies such as these. In 2021, Walletmor, a Polish-British company, started selling payment microchips that can be implanted. With the help of NFC, this microchip can enable us to make contactless payments in a faster and more secure manner.
The device consists of a proximity antenna that connects to payment terminals such as the card machines owned by vendors and merchants. The microchip also contains a microprocessor that stores encrypted payment data. The entire setup is sealed inside a container made of biopolymer. Unlike other materials that might cause an unwanted reaction in our body, biocompatible materials such as plastic-like biopolymers can peacefully exist in our bodies for a long period of time, if not forever.
Are Cashless Payments with Microchip Implants Safe?
When it comes to our finances, we are very concerned about how much of our information is being exposed to third parties. Another primary concern when adopting new payment methods is how safe they are against theft, fraud and cyber attacks. Unlike debit cards that can be lost or net banking credentials that can be leaked, microchips cannot be stolen or lost.
Cashless payment microchips cannot end up in the wrong hands and cannot fall out of our wallets. Also, according to Walletmor, its microchips cannot be hacked or scanned. Unlike other microchips, Walletmor does not use RFID technology, which makes it invulnerable to cloning technologies and financial fraud. Most other payment methods such as credit and debit cards use RFID tags and thus are susceptible to being cloned.
Walletmor also boasts of its microchips being safe from location tracking due to not having a GPS system inside. Additionally, due to using NFC technologies, the microchips also do not transmit radio waves. Due to NFC being short-range, the microchips cannot be hacked or manipulated from a distance. The only way one can use these microchips for payments is by swiping his/her hands over payment terminals or directly touching merchant devices.
No one except the person who has the chip embedded inside him/her can influence the functions of these microchips as NFC-enabled chips only get activated once they are exposed to the electronic fields or other authorised devices. Unlike other methods of payments, no financial information needs to be provided, and these chips do not possess any information such as a ‘CVV’ inside them.
When it comes to our health, the microchip implant company has assured us that the product is absolutely safe and is capable of fulfilling its core function (to make payments) as soon as it is implanted. The microchip also does not rely on a power source such as a battery, thus, there are no toxic components inside the microchips. Due to lacking a battery, the chances of a mishap such as an internal blast due to battery damage can also be avoided.
There are still a few people who do not trust microchips and assume that they can be monitored, tracked or even controlled through these embedded devices. However, Walletmor assures that none of these can be done with the use of its microchips.
The Advantages of Microchips for Cashless Payments
Here are some of the main benefits of using microchips for cashless payments:
- Cashless payments using microchips are fast and require even less time than other means such as UPI or RFID payments.
- Microchips such as Walletmor’s implants are extremely light and weigh less than 1 gram. Thus, it is not a hassle to have them embedded inside us. As a matter of fact, these chips can be smaller than a grain of rice, being only half a millimetre long.
- NFC-enabled microchips do not require a power source and are completely passive in terms of energy consumption.
- It is almost impossible to lose these microchips as they must be sewn out of our bodies.
- Microchips using NFC cannot be hacked into and they have no access ids that can be cloned.
- Users cannot be tracked using these kinds of microchips.
Based on a survey from 2021 carried out on 4000 people, it was determined that 51% of the participants were fine with getting a microchip implant. Most concerns are about privacy and the invasiveness of the process. However, getting a tiny implant such as this is extremely safe with the technology we have available to us.
There are already hundreds of individuals in Europe who are using the microchips from Walletmor, and it is estimated that thousands of keen biohackers will follow suit in the coming years. Humans as a race are becoming more conscious of this technology available to us and its many benefits. According to the founder of Walletmor, these implants will be as popular as debit or credit cards someday as more people consider getting chipped.
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