“Spread your fingers.”


“Remove your hand.”

Just like that, a machine called PulseWallet scanned the veins in my right hand and charged my credit card.

PulseWallet, or palm scanners like it, might soon call your local Starbucks home and provide one more way to pay for your Pumpkin Spice Latte.

PulseWallet is a credit card terminal and register with a built-in biometric palm reader. Inside the reader is an infrared Fujitsu camera that photographs your vein pattern and then pairs it with the credit card you’ve swiped. Once you’ve paired you can hold your hand over any PulseWallet terminal to pay with your credit card. If you’re a business owner, you can hook it up to your POS (point of sale) cash register, or to PulseWallet’s bundled register, which includes a Windows tablet. The whole package is being announced today, and goes on sale next month for a yet-unspecified price.

PulseWallet may not command the hype of immaculately designed Silicon Valley payments startups like Coin or Square, flush with cash and top engineering talent, but it works. It was non-invasive and able to identify you in less than a second in my tests. In the age of Touch ID, PulseWallet’s hands-off approach is refreshing, but is it anything more than a pipe dream in a world where any attempt to create a new payments system runs into gigantic roadblocks?