UK first vein ID system raises the bar in Manchester
With Manchester’s hospitality sector now reopening a unique vein-mapping technology is being used to comply with new test and trace guidelines, and introduce biometric age verification and payments.
FinGo, a biometric identity solution, has received the go-ahead to be used for age verification by Manchester City Council, marking another first for the city.
It enables proof of age, payments and the sharing of contact details through a simple scan of the user’s finger.
This includes the ability to capture and store a user’s contact details securely, with their permission, which can be activated as part of test and trace efforts.
In the case of an outbreak, an establishment operating FinGoID will be able to quickly contact customers or seamlessly supply this information to the Government’s Test and Trace teams.
Unlike fingerprint technology, FinGo utilises each user’s unique vein pattern to enable secure, identity-enabled transactions.
The ambition is for the technology platform to act as city-wide solution in Manchester, improving everyday processes from payments through to travel.
Popular cocktail bar and restaurant, The Alchemist, will be one of the first merchants to bring FinGo into the reimagined hospitality environment. The move is part of the venue’s commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable space for customers.
Jenny McPhee, brand director at The Alchemist, said: “As we reopen for business, like so many others in the industry, we are facing a multitude of new challenges.
“It’s clear that hospitality could look very different for some time and so it makes complete sense to explore new technology to future proof how we interact with consumers.
“For us, bringing in FinGo is about offering choice. Providing a safe and secure option for guests to pay, prove their age and share contact details can only be a benefit as we navigate the coming months.
“To be one of the first to use FinGoID in the UK is truly exciting and we’re looking forward to seeing the response from our guests.”
Starting out with a payment focus at Festival Number 6, and a number of successful pilots including Proud Bar Camden, Brunel University, Copenhagen Business School, and the Etihad Stadium, FinGo, which has offices in Manchester and London, has been redesigned in recent months to enable it to support a new post-COVID world.
Simon Binns, FinGo chief commercial officer, said: “Our initial launch in Spinningfields at the XYZ Building was delayed by the pandemic, but this provided us with a really beneficial period to evolve the offer and address the emerging challenges brought on by COVID-19.
“What we have now is a solution that puts all of the customer power in their own hands. And unlike other solutions, no personal information is shared with the venue.
“With a quick scan of the finger, customers leave a secure record of their visit, if needed for test and trace purposes. Crucially this will also take some of the pressure off the hospitality staff who have many new guidelines to contend with.
“Our vision is that you will be able to walk into any bar or restaurant in Manchester, pay for your dinner and hop on the Metro, all with the scan of your finger. What better place to do this then the city that has given the world so many firsts?”
New users will only need to register once to use FinGo.
After entering their details and verifying ID or bank details via the FinGo app, users can then scan and save their veinID at an onsite FinGo kiosk. Once registered, users are then free to use FinGo for age verification and payment purposes at any approved retailer.
Vaughan Allen, chief executive of business membership organisation CityCo, said: “At CityCo we’ve been reviewing new technologies which can help Manchester re-open safely.
“FinGo’s new biometric product will allow our members to concentrate on welcoming their customers back, rather than manual registration on every visit or proof of age requiring a physical ID document check.
“It also takes care of data privacy and GDPR concerns. We hope it can help to rebuild confidence and bring hospitality businesses back to life in the city centre over the coming weeks and months.”