Innovation That Matters

In Japan, tourists to pay with their fingerprints

Travel & Tourism

In the lead up to the 2020 Olympics, Japan is implementing a fingerprint registration, identification and payment system for visitors

At large scale events with thousands of attendees, the speediness with which venues process simple actions — such as identifying yourself or paying for items — can make or break a visitor’s experience. Japan is hoping to ensure attendees at the upcoming 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games have a smooth visit, by introducing a fingerprint registration, identification and payment system.

To begin, visitors will have their fingerprints, credit card information and other information registered upon arrival at the country’s various airports. Then, they will be able to prove their identity by placing two fingers onto special devices installed at hotels, inns and up to 300 stores and restaurants. The fingerprints will act as a substitute for their passport, confirming their identification and be linked with their credit card, enabling them to pay for things with only their fingers.

The data will be made anonymous and used by the Japanese government to analyze tourists’ behaviors, as part of a plan to increase tourism to the country. However, there are concerns that tourists will feel uneasy about handing over their personal information. The Japanese government has started trialling the system last summer.

Fingerprints have long been a trusted method of identification, and though the breach of privacy make the methods controversial, we have begun to see the uniqueness of other body parts including the eyes and the voice used as a means of granting secure access.

How can governments and businesses guarantee individual security, and at the same time make use of convenient new tech?




Download PDF

Springwise Services:
Our expertise in spotting the latest innovations is the best resource to empower your team’s future planning.

Find out More