CLEVELAND, OH (WJW) — The future is here. Those tired of taking out their wallet or phone to pay for things could soon skip that step entirely, thanks to a new implantable payment chip.
The British-Polish company Walletmor has created a microchip that can be implanted inside a person’s hand and used as one would tap a credit card for payment. The technology is only currently allowed to be sold in the European Union and the U.K.
“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,” founder and chief executive Wojtek Paprota told the BBC. “It can be used wherever contactless payments are accepted.”
The company said it’s the first to sell these kinds of chips to willing customers, unleashing its biopolymer technology about the size of a small safety pin on the world last year. The cost is around $300.
But just how many people are all right with the idea of having essentially a credit card placed in their body? Walletmor said in a press release that so far at least 200 people have purchased its technology.
According to a 2021 survey, which talked to 4,000 people across Europe, nearly 51% said they would consider an implant of some type, yet security issues reportedly remained a concern for some.
Walletmor explained their chips use near-field communication or NFC, the same system smartphones use for contactless payments, and that they cannot be read until they’re in close contact with a payment reader device. The company said the chip does not include a battery nor does it make radio waves on its own.