A cashless society and fingerprint payments are on the horizon

The programme makes South Dakota School of Mines & Technology the first in the world to test life as a biometrics campus using foil-proof biocryptology that goes beyond a fingerprint to read multiple layers into the skin and detect haemoglobin in the blood.

The patented technology on the back-end turns each finger scan into a series of valueless numbers that change every time the finger is introduced.

Data encryption ensures security, as the numbers can’t be reproduced in a meaningful way, not by merchants, law enforcement, hackers or even Nexus Smart Pay.

The Nexus Smart Pay pilot programme at the school of mines and technology is being tested by 50 students and four faculty members at two locations on campus.

Consumers deposit money into an account, with which they associate their biometric data. Mines students and faculty members pay for goods with a simple scan of the finger; no cash, credit, debit or ID cards or pin codes necessary.

Biocryptology, in part, reads several layers deep into the skin using radio frequency. The technology can be applied to other applications, including physical and logical access.

Super secure
It also protects against identity theft, as fewer forms of identification are needed to be carried on a person and the system operates in a highly secure, closed and uniquely encrypted environment.

“Advancing technology to transform lives is what we do at the School of Mines, and we are proud to be not only the first university but indeed the first organisation of any kind in the world to pilot this programme,” said the school's acting president Duane Hrncir.

“We are excited about being on the front-end of this technology. It’s a natural fit for us to partner with Nexus USA and Hanscan.” Nexus USA is a subsidiary of Spanish-based Hanscan Identity Management, which is owned by entrepreneur and oil tycoon Klaas Zwart, also a Formula 1 enthusiast who has built his own racing resort in Marbella, Spain.

Zwart visited South Dakota School of Mines & Technology's campus in September, spending time with the school's own Formula Hardrocker Racing SAE team.

Some of the school's students are participating in the biometric pilot programme.

“Nexus needed a place that was going to be technologically advanced enough to handle this and with a student population savvy enough.

We hope they will give us some feedback on how to make this a better product and to find a better way to help market it. This is an innovative university, and we really need to show the world,” said Al Maas, Nexus USA’s president.

“The convenience factor is huge. It’s safe, and I believe it’s going to accelerate fast. We’re in tune with the technology age. Look at how the fax went to email and then to our cellphones.

Within three years we’ve gone from making calls to taking care of everything we need in our lives,” Maas said. – Gadget.co.za

* Follow Gadget on Twitter on @GadgetZA

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Digital banking offers an entry point to the fourth industrial revolution

Digital and mobile offerings have the potential to disrupt the banking industry in South Africa

Banks bungle sale of houses

Banks aren’t following procedure in selling the primary dwellings of people whose properties are in foreclosure. But changes to the rules brings hope

How to keep central banks independent

Some observers say central banks can best mitigate risks to their independence by returning to the narrow price-stability mandate

The battle of the banks

Several new entrants will spark a war of attrition rather than a full-frontal assault and customers will be the winners

Customers to benefit from disruption in retail banking, says FNB

The bank's vision is to be a trusted money manager

‘Judgment day’ looms for Australia’s scandal-hit banks

A decade ago the sector was lauded for emerging unscathed from the global financial crisis and avoiding the risky investments that doomed their peers

Subscribers only

The shame of 40 000 missing education certificates

Graduates are being left in the lurch by a higher education department that is simply unable to deliver the crucial certificates proving their qualifications - in some cases dating back to 1992

The living nightmare of environmental activists who protest mine expansion

Last week Fikile Ntshangase was gunned down as activists fight mining company Tendele’s expansions. Community members tell the M&G about the ‘kill lists’ and the dread they live with every day

More top stories

Joe Biden’s debate guests run the only Zimbabwean restaurant in...

A Zimbabwean restaurant feeding people in need formed an unlikely addition to Joe Biden’s election campaign

The high road is in harm reduction

While the restriction of movement curtailed the health services for people who use drugs in some parts of the world, it propelled other countries into finding innovative ways to continue services, a new report reveals

Khaya Sithole: Tsakani Maluleke’s example – and challenge

Shattering the glass ceiling is not enough, the new auditor general must make ‘live’ audits the norm here in SA

State’s wage freeze sparks apoplexy

Public sector unions have cried foul over the government’s plan to freeze wages for three years and have vowed to fight back.

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday