Hitachi, KDDI Experiment with Blockchain-Based Naked Payments

” Unlike other nascent naked payments technologies aimed at directly linking consumers’ biometric data to their payment accounts, Hitachi’s system revolved around coupons, allowing participants to dispense with the actual paper, and helping merchants to ensure that coupon use is accurately tracked and accounted for.”

Hitachi, KDDI Experiment with Blockchain-Based Naked PaymentsHitachi and Japanese telecom KDDI have conducted a trial of naked payments technology designed to let customers at a KDDI store in Tokyo and at a certain Mr. Donut shop pay for their purchases with a fingerprint scan.

In announcing the trial, Hitachi stressed the system’s use of blockchain technology, which was implemented through a third partner in the project, Hyperledger Fabric. Participating shoppers’ data was distributed across a decentralized ledger, ensuring that the payment systems would not be dependent on a central server, while helping to protect against potential hack attacks.

As for the biometric payments themselves, they were based on fingerprint authentication, which participants were required to submit at the time of registration for the system. Unlike other nascent naked payments technologies aimed at directly linking consumers’ biometric data to their payment accounts, Hitachi’s system revolved around coupons, allowing participants to dispense with the actual paper, and helping merchants to ensure that coupon use is accurately tracked and accounted for.

The trial ran only two days, from July 25th to 26th, and in announcing it Hitachi repeatedly referred to it as an “experiment”, so there is no reason to believe that Hitachi and KDDI intend to follow through with a large-scale naked payments system. But the pursuit of such an experiment in itself suggests that these major companies see considerable potential in biometric payments technologies, not to mention blockchain accounting.

Sources: Coindesk, AMB Crypto, Hitachi