Anytime you make a purchase with a credit or debit card at a retail establishment, the payment process always holds up the line. Besides using cash, nobody has really figured out how to make processing payments more efficient and secure. NFC tried, but it's been mostly a complete failure (at least in the U.S.).
Quixter, a Swedish startup, has a better idea instead of using plastic, cash or silly NFC: using your palm to buy things. Recent advances in biometrics have led to using a person's veins in the palm of their hand for ID purposes. The same can be used for a payment system, according to Quixter.
The idea is that the unique pattern of veins in a person's hand is linked to a specific bank or credit card account so that when their palm is scanned, the system automatically knows where to deduct funds from.
This process, however, still requires two steps. After the hand scan, a person still has to verify the amount they're being charged (which is probably a good idea) and enter the last four digits of their phone number on a display. But this still makes the process a lot more seamless than using credit cards. And according to Quixter, the process is secure from fraud, unless of course, someone cuts off your hand and uses it to get their caramel macchiato fix at Starbucks.
The real problem with this technology, though, is getting retailers to go along for the ride. If the failure of NFC payment systems have taught us anything, it's that the biggest opponents to new, more efficient payment systems are the businesses themselves, and not the shoppers. (Businesses hate spending more money to update their obsolete tech.) However, Quixter’s payment system is currently in use at 15 locations at Lund University in Sweden, so that’s a start.