Lotte's palm vein payment expanded to 7-Eleven stores in Seoul

Lim Chang-won  reproters Posted : 2017-07-26 10:33 Updated : 2017-07-26 10:33
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[Yonhap Photo]

After a two-month experimental operation, a new self-checkout payment system called "HandPay" was introduced at seven 7-Eleven outlets in Seoul, marking the world's first commercial use of palm vein patterns for biometric authentication.

The seven outlets included three in central Seoul and four inside Lotte's shopping malls in southern Seoul, according to Lotte Card Co., the credit card subsidiary of South Korea's Lotte Group. Customers are allowed to pay for purchases using a registered palm-vein authentication solution.

From mid-May, the system has been tested at the 7-Eleven Signature store of the Lotte World Tower, a new 123-story shopping and living tower complex that opened on April 3 as South Korea's new high-rise landmark.

HandPay is now available only after Lotte Card clients stored biometric data about their palms in advance. They need no cash or plastic card to shop at the designated 7-Eleven outlets equipped with palm vein scanners.

By the end of this year, Lotte Card hopes to set up palm vein scanners at about 1,000 7-Eleven outlets and other places inside Lotte's shopping malls and fast-food restaurants. Gas stations and hospitals affiliated with the credit card company would be selected later.

Lotte, the country's fifth largest conglomerate, said that encrypted information about the palm vein patterns of credit card clients was transformed into random numbers for safe storage, scanning and recognition.

For safe and convenient financial transactions, the Financial Services Commission, a state financial watchdog, has urged credit card firms and financial institutions to introduce biometric authentication technologies which are effective in detecting any attempt to tamper with payment processes.

In April, Woori Bank introduced an iris scanner, provided by Samsung Electronics for its new flagship smartphone Galaxy S8, in mobile banking. Fingerprint scanners are widely used at banks and state bodies to check identity, but mobile payment requires hack-proof solutions to ensure safe and convenient financial transactions.