Last week the Japanese Government announced that it would commence development of fingerprint payment technology in time for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
The system is part of a broader strategy to increase the annual number of foreign tourists to visiting Japan to 40 million by that date.
The way the system will work is that:
- inbound tourists will register fingerprints when they arrive in the country
- fingerprint records will be associated with a bank or credit card account
- tourists will then pay for purchases by using fingerprint readers in stores, restaurants, etc
- data collected by the system will be used to identify tourist movements and spending habits
The system is to be initially trialed in 300 restaurants, shops and hotels popular with tourists, with a view to it being extended country-wide by 2020.
What are the implications?