Tattoo as a Payment Instrument: Your Next Credit Card Will Stick to your Body!

May 18, 2016 by Miroslav M.

Credit cards great thing. Small, convenient and personalized. You can lose them, but the one who finds your lost “plastic money” won’t be able to do much with it if you notice it on time and cancel the card. However, none likes to have their cards lost or stolen. Even if the card holder notices the loss immediately and manages to cancel it right after, they will have to wait for the replacement card to be crafted and issued. Until then, the credit connected to it will not be available, at least not in such a convenient way.

NFC technology enables communication between an “active” device (in most cases a smartphone or a tablet) and a passive component commonly called “sticker”, which does not have to be powered. The NFC already found use as a replacement for event or transport tickets, the way to lock out a motor vehicle or a hotel room, and as a mean of collecting patient vital signs in clinics, and now in electronic payments as well.

The newest thing comes from MC10 Inc., a healthcare development company having a great experience in wearable diagnostic equipment field. MC10 has developed a tattoo-like NFC sticker which is attached to one’s body and is paired to their smartphone or other “smart” device giving it connectivity with the bank through the Internet. While on the wearer’s arm, it can look like a tattoo, with a customizable design.

This device is first developed for healthcare use, on order from French skin care giant L’Oréal who needed it as a pioneering way to help their consumers monitor their UV exposure from sunlight personally. While L’Oréal will keep the exclusive rights to use stickers in the beauty domain, the payment sticker will be available to banks once the whole thing is tested and approved.

That would be really great for use in concerts, sports events and riding public transport. With this sticker you will feel extremely safe around so many people, at least regarding your funds security. And even if you are so incapacitated (by excessive drinking for example) that someone succeeds in stealing both the sticker and the phone attached to it, the funds won’t be available. Once the sticker is removed from the original wearer’s body all the data on it will be cleared, and even pairing it with the original user’s phone will not help much. The whole thing is fully personal – just like eye scanning but much more convenient.