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Hitachi Trial Blockchain Biometrics for Retail Payments


According to a press release dated Wednesday 25th July, Hitachi are taking a step forward in the retail industry by trialling a new blockchain system for settling payments. The trial will see the system enable payments to made using only a fingerprint scanner, with data stored on the purpose-built blockchain. The press release explains the process as follows [translated from Japanese]:

In this experiment, KDDI and Hitachi employees will be in a KDDI managed store in Shinjuku, and Mr. Donuts Takadanobabo Yamaguchi shop, and after user registration, identification by fingerprint authentication and authentication in person, will carry out a series of transactions using the existing coupon system. By doing this, we will verify the blockchain biometric ID authentication infrastructure, and verify the processing time and convenience of user registration and personal authentication.

Should the trial prove successful, customers who wish to use the system would register their coupon credits as well as their biometric data on the blockchain system. The data is encrypted and stored, allowing that customer to settle their transaction against their credits simply by using a fingerprint scanner located in the store. Hitachi’s goal in the trial is to ensure that data is fully protected, and that updates to credits and retrieval of details for cross-referencing is immediate and effective across multiple venues. Once they have verified this, the chances are that the service will be rolled out after further blockchain development.

This is not Hitachi’s first high-profile foray into the blockchain market. Just last year, the multi-billion dollar conglomerate partnered with Mizuho Financial Group to investigate blockchain’s potential use in supply chain management. Testing for this product has been ongoing since September 2017.

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