The Nilson Report

Issue 1145 | Jan 2019


Companies featured in this issue include:

U.S. General Purpose Cards, Outstandings vs. Purchase Volume

Investments & Acquisitions—December 2018

Projected Growth of Purchase Transactions Worldwide

Outstandings as a Percentage of Purchase Volume on U.S. General Purpose Cards 1990-2018

Investments & Acquisitions—December 2018

A total of 43 acquisitions, joint ventures, and investment transactions occurred in 12 countries in December 2018. The top five deals with disclosed values are listed below.

1. Earthport, United Kingdom
Visa, $252.0 mil.
2. Plaid, United States
Series C, $250.0 mil.
3. Earnin, United States
Series C, $125.0 mil.
4. Danal, South Korea
Boku, $112.0 mil.
5. Cross River Bank, United States
Venture round, $100.0 mil.

Full access to the Investments & Acquisitions—December 2018 table is available when you subscribe to The Nilson Report.



Fingopay Vein ID Biometric Authentication

When illuminated by near-infrared light, the patterns found inside any human’s veins are more unique than their fingerprints. In addition, they are never impacted by degradation over time from working or an accident. It is also true that while fingerprints are very useful for identification, they are not a foolproof biometric for maximum security because they are external and can be replicated and because systems can be spoofed. Vein ID technology can’t be spoofed by a bot because a living human being’s hemoglobin is required to absorb the infrared light to capture a vein pattern.

Hitachi, the Japan-based technology vendor, developed the ability to read veins for identification, anticipating an opportunity to make money in the medical industry. However, the medical market wasn’t as lucrative as originally believed. Hitachi did find a use for vein ID in Japan to secure transactions at 80,000 ATMs in combination with a PIN. 

Fingopay in the U.K. believes there is a market for a vein ID system in card payments. It has created mobile and kiosk-based systems for enrollment of cardholders who could link multiple cards to their vein identification to secure transactions. The company also believes retailers could use its technology to replace loyalty cards. Fingopay’s system also includes software to manage loyalty and present offers before the cardholder chooses a payment method. 

Dankort, the national debit network in Denmark managed by Nets, tested Fingopay beginning in March 2018 for eight weeks. That test concluded, but most of the 1,000 students participating wanted to continue using the technology. Individual merchants offer it using Fingopay enrollment devices. 

Unlike the fingerprint authentication in Apple Pay, which occurs within each iPhone, Fingopay’s verification occurs in the cloud. The company says it takes 200 milliseconds to catch the vein identification and 1 second to match it in the cloud and trigger a receipt for a purchase. All vein identification is anonymized. Fingopay does not store any biometrics. 

The Fingopay database is parallelized into multiple pools to deliver the quick match. The factors for pools include time of day and merchant location. The company is continuing to invest in refining how it can work at scale. 

Intesa Sanpaolo in Brazil and Santander Bank Polska (formerly Bank Zachodni) in Poland will test Fingopay this year. Hitachi offers Fingopay in Japan.

Nick Dryden is CEO at Fingopay in London, U.K., 44 (7498) 060-091,,

© Copyright 2019 The Nilson Report

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