Implantable Payment Chips Aim to Eliminate Debit and Credit Cards

A British-Polish company is leading the charge in pioneering a way to eliminate the need to carry around forms of payment entirely.

Walletmor plans to be the first company to offer implantable, under-the-skin chips for sale. “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,” Chief Executive Officer of Walletmor Wojtek Paprota told the BBC.

Several photos have been shared in addition to videos of the technology in action, demonstrating how the chip is implanted into the human body. An interested user is given local anesthesia and a chip is inserted into their hand. So far, more than 500 of these microchips have been sold.

A security guard from the Netherlands named Patrick Paumen, alongside one other user, shared with the BBC that the reactions they get from cashiers are ‘priceless. “The procedure hurts as much as when someone pinches your skin.” Paumen’s had his chip since 2019.

The chip from Walletmor weighs less than a gram and is only a little larger than a single grain of rice. It’s comprised of a tiny microchip and an antenna encased in a biopolymer, which is a naturally sourced material resembling plastic.

Paprota reassures potential customers that the chip is perfectly safe and has all the regulatory approvals. The chip uses Near-Field Communication or NFC, which is the same technology being used by smartphones for years.

The concept of an implantable chip continues to pique the interest of prospective users, as inquiries to the company’s management continue to pour in. “How long does it last?” asked on Instagram user. Walletmor replied: “In Europe it is 8 years and in the USA it is 3 years.”

NFC chips under the skin, at least for the time being, remain a hokey trend. The future of implantable technology however, becomes more of a reality every day.

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