Currency News: Are Fingerprints the Currency of the Future?

Currency News

The Japanese government is planning to test a new system this summer that will enable tourists to pay for items in stores using just their fingerprints. currency newsThe program will begin with approximately 300 stores this summer being set-up with the equipment to accept fingerprints as a new form of currency. Additionally, tourists will be able to use their fingerprints as identification in hotels and inns rather than needing to produce their passport.

The goal of the Japanese government is to expand this program to be widely available in time for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Japan is aiming to boost their tourism industry to service 40 million foreign tourists annually by the Olympic games.

It remains to be seen whether tourist will be encouraged or deterred from visiting the country with this new system in place. Concerns over personal security and unease about the idea of using fingerprints as currency may act as a deterrent though Japanese officials remain optimistic that the system will help the country. In fact, such systems are already in place in some parts of the U.S. and the UK. Carnegie Mellon already has a similar payment system set-up in some dining halls and on campus kiosks, and in the UK, there are schools using fingerprint scanners to account for children’s lunches.

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