A cashless society has long been a staple of sci-fi. Star Wars and Star Trek both have their version of credits, though more materially obsessed cultures do keep a form of hard currency around. It’s also a common trope in dystopian fiction, where money is completely electronic and usually controlled by either the government or mega-corporations.
Speaking as a citizen of a country that isn’t ready to let go of the penny, I’m not sure everyone is ready for a cashless society. Ready or not, South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (Mines), and possibly all of surrounding Rapid City, are about to embark on a pilot program for a cashless society in partnership with Nexus USA’s Smart Pay system.
In place of a card or some other form of ID, the program uses a system called Biocryptology. The biometrics technology uses a radio frequency to penetrate down seven layers into the skin on a user’s index finger to identify a valid user. The Smart Pay system even checks for hemoglobin in the blood of the finger to determine the user is alive.
If Smart Pay works as well as Nexus hopes, it could be adapted for use in other areas, replacing things like keys for your car, allowing for cardless IDs (that can’t be faked), and improving other areas of security.
“The convenience factor is huge. It’s safe, and I believe it’s going to accelerate fast. We’re in tune with the technology age. Look at how the fax went to email and then to our cell phones. Within three years we’ve gone from making calls to taking care of everything we need in our lives,” said Al Maas, Nexus USA’s president.
Below you’ll find a video about Smart Pay.