Connect with us

Fintech

One man’s quest to pay for lunch with a chip implanted in his thumb

Avatar

Published

on


The NFC chip implanted in Meow-Ludo Meow Meow's thumb.
The NFC chip implanted in Meow-Ludo Meow Meow’s thumb.
Image: Mashable

By October, Meow-Ludo Meow Meow hopes to leave his wallet at home — maybe forever.

The near field communication (NFC) chip he has implanted in the back of his thumb could soon let him make contactless payments and potentially catch public transport.

Meow (he had his named changed years ago) is part of a movement of people who are blending their bodies with technology, or biohackers. In fact, the NFC chip is only one part of his dedication to living through experimentation and science. The founder of Biofoundry, a community lab in Sydney, Australia, is also running in the upcoming Australian election as a Science Party candidate.

The chip, which feels like a tiny, hard cylinder to the touch, was implanted in April at a piercing studio in Sydney. It wasn’t too painful, he told Mashable Australia, and his thumb was tender for only a short time after. 

“If you think about it like a cat or dog microchip, it’s quite quick and quite painless,” he said.

Leave the keys and wallet at home

The chip can only perform small tasks for the moment, but Meow has grander plans.

Currently, if he holds his thumb to the NFC reader on the back of his smartphone, it can detect the business card the chip is carrying. He can also reprogram the chip using a basic app. While we were together, he programmed it to disclose our location on Google Maps.

“It’s basically a little piece of memory that can do some fun stuff,” he said.

Working with with technologists Nathan Waters and Phill Ogden, Meow is working on a project to facilitate financial transactions through the chip with just a tap of his thumb on a store’s contactless payments reader. Think of it as a fintech startup merged with a biohacking experiment.

By October, the team is hoping to make the implant work with the Commonwealth Bank’s EFTPOS tablet, Albert, which is a common contactless payment system used in retail stores. To allow transactions to go through they’ll need to build a new app for Albert. The Commonwealth Bank has been contacted for comment. 

They’re also going to experiment with ways to integrate the chip with Opal, Sydney’s electronic public transport card.

Waters, who doesn’t currently have an implant himself, told Mashable Australia the technology to allow such transactions is ready now, but companies need to be on board. “The technology has been around for 10 or 12 years,” he said. “The only thing is having partnerships with the Commonwealth Bank and Opal to allow their backend to recognise it.”

If companies are open to it, the project could quickly evolve. “Ultimately, it would be great to have a business where people can book in for an implant, pair it with an app and throw away their wallet.”

For Meow, the end goal is to have the implant work with PayPass — MasterCard’s contactless payments system. This would allow Meow to use his thumb to pay at most retail stores across Australia, as PayPass is widely accepted. 

PayPass requires more memory, however — Meow’s NFC chip can hold only 868 bytes. He’d need to put a chip with larger capacity in another finger. “I’ll probably put it in the other thumb, and keep this one for hacking,” he said.

The potential of implants

When Meow first got the chip, he had no idea what he wanted to do with it. However, he quickly realised that it had two main capabilities: authentication and activation.

“The two biggest areas the chip could enable are authentication — I have a little bit of memory inside my thumb that can identify me uniquely — and also, [to] activate things,” he explained.

In the short term, such chips could eliminate some of the mundane paraphernalia of daily life. “Your keys and wallet — those two things can be entirely replaced with a chip in your hand,” Meow said. “When you put your hands on the steering wheel, that could start your car.”

Having unique identifiers within the body could also reduce other moments of friction. “When I walk into a supermarket, it will tag me as I go in, every single piece of food that I buy will be NFC tagged and I’ll just walk out. The transaction will happen automatically,” he suggested.

If these chips become smarter, their potential could be immense. What if your in-body payment chip was connected to health sensors, for example?

“If you hadn’t exercised enough in a day, it might stop you from eating [bad] foods,” he said. “If it had a sensor that could detect blood glucose or heart rate, or it connected to a Fitbit, so that the Fitbit says ‘Oh, you haven’t run today, we’re not going to let you buy a Mars bar.'”

Meow-Ludo Meow Meow.

Meow-Ludo Meow Meow.

Image: facebook/Meow-Ludo Meow Meow

Hacking the body

Meow has no time for the qualms and queasiness of body-hacking critics. In his view, many people already have technology inside them — among them, pacemakers, Implanon, IUDs and blood glucose monitors.

“I’m very interested in challenging people’s conception of bodily sovereignty and their ideas around how you interact with technology,” he explained.

Waters agreed there was a stigma to implants, particularly their potential to allow Big Brother-style tracking. “All I want to do is to take the capabilities of what’s in my wallet right now and reduce that down to a chip,” he said. “Nothing too sinister.”

Having unique identifiers built into the body may be a privacy obsessive’s nightmare, but for Meow, the age of anonymity is well and truly over. We already give companies immense reams of our biological data — think fingerprint access on our smartphones or iris authentication — and such chips could go someway to halting that flow.

“A thumb swipe, or a fingerprint, or an iris scan, [can be used] to identify or authenticate, but it’s actually a lot easier to go the other way,” he said. “Instead of getting the computer to read your information, the technology inside you [could] run on the same information.” 

If you’re wondering where he gets his inspiration for experimentation, you have popular culture to thank. Tinkering with old Omega systems forms some of his childhood memories, but it was really the blurring line between biology and computing that was most alluring, and one film provided an answer.

“The first thing I wanted to be was a genetic engineer,” Meow said. “I watched Jurassic Park, and I’m like, I want to do what they’re doing.”

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Source: https://mashable.com/2016/06/05/chip-implant-payments-meow/

AI

Why the mortgage broking industry needs to embrace rather than fear AI

Avatar

Published

on

For a sector that relies so heavily on the kind of repetitive work artificial intelligence was built for, the mortgage broking industry has been a shockingly slow adopter of AI, says Effi CEO, Mandeep Sodhi.

Perhaps this is because many in the industry still see it has a threat rather than an aid.

Deloitte’s 2020 Australian Mortgage report found almost half of respondents considered robo-advice and AI to be a major challenge to brokers.

This distrust of AI is robbing the mortgage broking industry of a valuable tool. It’s an attitude that needs to change fast if the valuable service brokers provide is to remain relevant.

In fact, mortgage broking is perfect positioned for benefit hugely from AI. No matter how smart artificial intelligence becomes it will never be able to replace the kind of valuable human to human interaction and understanding a mortgage broker can provide but, what it can do is take on the repetitive grunt work that saps time and energy from those interactions. This means more time can be taken getting to know a client really well enabling a broker to understand their need intricately so they can provide the best possible service for that client.

AI can also streamline and automate processes that take up client’s time like filling in numerous and repetitive forms and waiting on phone calls to scheduled meetings. This means that clients have more time to convey their needs to their broker and to get to know them.

The end result is a closer, more valuable relationship between brokers and clients. Developing this kind of relationship that means clients are comfortable picking up the phone to ask their broker questions or seek further advice and the broker has the time to answer them thoughtfully and thoroughly.

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/why-the-mortgage-broking-industry-needs-to-embrace-rather-than-fear-ai/

Continue Reading

Blockchain

Singapore Leads the Way As Stock Exchanges in Asia Pacific Are Embracing DLT

Avatar

Published

on

Across Asia Pacific, stock exchanges have accelerated the adoption of smart contract technology and DLT to optimize market workflows.

The Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) is looking to replace its Clearing House Electronic SubRegister System, or CHESS, with new DLT and smart contract-based infrastructure, an upgrade  that is expected to bring a host of benefits, such as more control for issuers and investors, cost efficiency and enhanced security.

In Hong Kong, local bourse operator HKEX is considering applying smart contract technology to its Stock Connect program to simplify the transaction process of stock trading between the special administrative region (SAR) and mainland China.

And in Singapore, the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) began exploring the use of blockchain and DLT as an alternative to existing clearing and settlement systems in 2016.

SGX issues S$400 million digital bond

Across the region, the Singapore Exchange (SGX) is paving the way forward in the region’s bond market, embracing the use of smart contracts and distributed ledger technology (DLT) to streamline processes, improve efficiencies and reduce associated costs.

In September, SGX, one of the largest equities and derivatives in Asia, completed its first digital bond issuance on its digital asset issuance, depository and servicing platform, an Asia first for a syndicated public corporate bond, and another milestone in SGX’s use of digital asset technology.

Lee Beng Hong, senior managing director and head of fixed income, currencies and commodities at SGX, said the exchange was now moving to “fully digitalize the end-to-end corporate bond issuance” and build a full-stack digital infrastructure focused on Asia fixed income.

The pilot was conducted in partnership with HSBC Singapore and Temasek, a collaboration initially announced in November 2019.

In a blog post, HSBC said that several of its teams helped develop the process for the issuance of the digital bonds, or tokenized securities, on SGX’s DLT-enabled platform. The digitalized bond issuance process achieved a reduction in total settlement time from five days down to just two, enabled automation of issuance flows and coupons, and redemption payments, and overall, significantly improved processes.

Digital Asset Issuance Platform, Illustration via SGX.com

A leader in blockchain tech and crypto assets

Singapore is rapidly emerging as a global leader in blockchain technology and crypto assets. The 2019 Singapore Blockchain Landscape Map showed a subset of over 500 companies and entities with blockchain as their primary business or significantly engaging in distributed technology.

DBS, the country’s largest bank, is currently working on a digital currency exchange. A version of the web page of the DBS Digital Exchange, which was briefly made public in October before being taken down, said that the exchange will list four top cryptocurrencies, bitcoin, ether, ripple and bitcoin cash, against multiple fiat currencies including SGD, USD, HKD and JPY.

The exchange will also allow small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and corporates to raise capital via security tokens, allowing them to digitalize their securities and assets.

The DBS Digital Exchange will not hold any of the digital asset. Instead, they will be kept with the banking arm of DBS via an institutional-grade custody solution called DBS Digital Custody.

Only financial institutions and professional market makers will be permitted as members. Individual investors will only be able to access the platform via a member, for example, DBS Private Bank.

A spokesperson for the bank said in late October that DBS was still in the process of seeking regulatory approval.

Featured image credit: Screengrab from Youtube

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Source: https://fintechnews.sg/45340/blockchain/singapore-leads-the-way-as-stock-exchanges-in-asia-pacific-are-embracing-dlt/

Continue Reading

Fintech

Novatti partners with leading global card payment company UnionPay

Avatar

Published

on

ASX-listed Australian fintech company Novatti Group Limited, a leading digital banking and payments company, has partnered with leading global card payment company, UnionPay.

UnionPay has more than 8.4b cards issued globally and a network spanning 179 countries and regions, highlighting its immense scale.1 In Australia alone, UnionPay is accepted by 90% of ATMs, 85% of point of sale terminals, and by major retailers such as Coles and Target.2

The partnership with UnionPay will drive growth in Novatti’s core payment processing business, with Novatti appointed as a UnionPay acquirer, providing UnionPay customers with access to Novatti’s merchant and transaction services across Australia.

The partnership will benefit other Novatti businesses, including ChinaPayments, Novatti’s China-focused, cross-border payments platform, which enables Chinese residents to pay Australian bills in Chinese currency. UnionPay has already been integrated into ChinaPayments, with transactions using UnionPay accounts already taking place. Further, ChinaPayments will shortly be integrated into the UnionPay app, providing eligible UnionPay users with direct access to ChinaPayments.

The partnership with UnionPay adds to Novatti’s growing list of tier-one global partners, including Visa, Alipay, WeChat Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Marqeta, and Decta. Growing commercial relationships and payments processing networks with these major partners underpins a core pillar of Novatti’s long-term revenue growth strategy, leveraging Novatti’s existing platforms and infrastructure to deliver more services and gain a greater share of wallets with our customers.

Managing Director of Novatti, Peter Cook, said, ‘We are thrilled to be partnering with UnionPay, a leading global card payment company. Through this partnership, Novatti will drive continued growth in our payment processing business, delivering further value from our existing platforms and technology.’


1. UnionPay International – https://www.unionpayintl.com/en/aboutUs/companyProfile/introductiontoUPI/ & https://m.unionpayintl.com/wap/en/mediaCenter/newsCenter/marketUpdate/7157.shtml

2. UnionPay International – https://m.unionpayintl.com/wap/en/mediaCenter/newsCenter/marketUpdate/6932.shtml

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/novatti-partners-with-leading-global-card-payment-company-unionpay/

Continue Reading

Fintech

Swoop heads for Australia – Tim Brown appointed CEO

Avatar

Published

on

Swoop, the fast-growing finance platform that enables small and medium sized businesses to access funding, is spreading its wings and coming to Australia after its initial runaway success in the UK and Ireland. The company has appointed Tim Brown as CEO of its new Australian venture, its first international expansion.

Known for his achievements in launching and growing new businesses, Tim who was previously CEO of Ezifin Financial Services Ltd, CEO of Vow Financial and Chair of the Mortgage Finance Association of Australia (2013-15) will be responsible for the company’s growth in the Australian and New Zealand markets.

Tim Brown commented, “I’m excited to be developing a business that has already proved its worth in the UK and Ireland, and I’m certain that Swoop will be invaluable to Australian companies that are looking to raise or save money. I look forward to growing our team with technical and funding specialists.”

Launched in the UK and Ireland in 2018, Swoop provides access to funding across equity, grants and loans as well as identifying how businesses can make savings, in essence operating as a single and integrated hub for financial management and planning. Functioning as a virtual chief financial officer, Swoop helps thousands of businesses achieve better financial health.

Swoop has much to offer across Australia, where small businesses are the backbone of the economy and there is a strong entrepreneurial spirit. Although Australia has a vigorous and growing alternative finance marketplace, it is fragmented and difficult to navigate. Swoop’s platform will provide the cohesion and focus that is lacking, helping businesses to find the best options now that they have more choice thanks to the arrival of open banking in 2020.

Geography is another obstacle that Swoop overcomes. Because Swoop is a fintech platform with a powerful search algorithm, it provides everything in one place. Businesses can receive all the financial resources, information and advice they need right at their front door. No travel, no fruitless searches, no time-wasting: everything is filtered to the precise requirements of the business, whatever its location, whatever the sector.

Tim added, “Another benefit to the Swoop platform is that, until now, there have been few opportunities to introduce Australian businesses to global investors in a smooth and structured way. Swoop eases the path to finance and makes connections that would otherwise go undiscovered”.

Scott Patterson, Senior Fintech Market Advisor for Enterprise Ireland who is supporting Swoop’s entry into Australia commented, “We are delighted that Swoop’s global expansion is commencing in the Australian market, which follows success in the UK and Ireland where they have forged a market-leading reputation for simplifying and supporting SME access to credit. Swoop’s innovative platform is a game-changer for Australian SMEs”.

Source: https://australianfintech.com.au/swoop-heads-for-australia-tim-brown-appointed-ceo/

Continue Reading
zephyrnet5 hours ago

TramsToken (TRAMS): A Rising Star of the Fast Moving DeFi Space

HRTech6 hours ago

Why it’s important to pay attention to hiring strategy

Start Ups8 hours ago

8 Best Options of Altimeter Smartwatches in 2020

Energy10 hours ago

ADAMA Mourns Death of Joe Krkoska, Executive Vice President of Global Operations

Energy12 hours ago

Firma Arctech Solar dodala do Kazachstánu natáčivé solární panely typu 2P s výkonem 150 MW

Energy12 hours ago

Industry Representatives Call on Government to Support the Energy Research Accelerator in the Comprehensive Spending Review

Energy13 hours ago

Shanghai Electric et Siemens Energy vont mettre en place un centre d’autonomisation énergétique intelligente

Energy13 hours ago

Shanghai Electric und Siemens Energy gründen ein Zentrum zur Förderung intelligenter Energien

Energy13 hours ago

Firmy Shanghai Electric a Siemens Energy založí Centrum na podporu rozvoje chytré energetiky (Smart Energy Empowerment Center)

Energy14 hours ago

Trina Solar Purchases 1.2 Billion units of 210mm Monocrystal Silicon Wafers in Cooperation with Zhonghuan

Energy14 hours ago

Shanghai Electric e Siemens Energy estabelecem centro de capacitação de energia inteligente

Energy14 hours ago

Shanghai Electric y Siemens Energy inaugurarán centro de empoderamiento de la energía inteligente

AI14 hours ago

Why the mortgage broking industry needs to embrace rather than fear AI

Energy15 hours ago

Shanghai Electric и Siemens Energy создадут центр поддержки интеллектуальной энергетики

Blockchain15 hours ago

Chainalysis Set to Become Blockchain’s Next Unicorn

Esports16 hours ago

Obey Alliance upset British Hurricane, American Tornado take the gold in Overwatch Contenders November event

Esports16 hours ago

How to watch the PUBG Mobile Global Championship season zero

Esports16 hours ago

The best support builds in League of Legends’ 2021 preseason

Esports17 hours ago

Third episode of PUBG Mobile Esports’ documentary series will premiere on Nov. 26

Esports17 hours ago

Magnus Carlsen loses game after mouse slip during Skilling Open

Blockchain17 hours ago

Singapore Leads the Way As Stock Exchanges in Asia Pacific Are Embracing DLT

United States
Esports18 hours ago

Chaos defeat Triumph to win IEM Beijing-Haidian North America

Esports19 hours ago

Video: ZywOo vs. Natus Vincere

Esports19 hours ago

TOTW 9 Predictions FIFA 21: Who’s Getting in?

Fintech19 hours ago

Novatti partners with leading global card payment company UnionPay

Esports19 hours ago

5 League of Legends Preseason 2021 Changes We Want

Esports19 hours ago

Black Ops Cold War Blue Screen: What’s Causing it?

Esports20 hours ago

degster shines as Espada win DreamHack Open December qualifier

Fintech20 hours ago

Swoop heads for Australia – Tim Brown appointed CEO

Esports20 hours ago

5 League of Legends Preseason 2021 Changes We Don’t Want

Trending