The UK’s hospitality industry has become the first in the world to roll out a unique vein mapping technology for age verification. With the sector continuing to reopen, FinGo, a biometric identity solution, will enable registered establishments to verify patrons’ age without the need for users to carry ID.
Popular cocktail bar and restaurant, The Alchemist, will be one of the first merchants to bring the UK’s first vein ID tech into the reimagined hospitality environment.
FinGo was given the go ahead to be used for age verification by Manchester City Council, making it the first city in the world to introduce the technology for this purpose.
Unlike fingerprint technology, FinGo utilises each user’s unique vein pattern to enable secure, identity-enabled transactions, including payments. It also includes the ability to capture and store user’s contact details securely, with their permission, which can be activated as part of test and trace efforts. In the case of an outbreak, an establishment operating FinGoID will be able to quickly contact customers or seamlessly supply this information to the Government’s Test and Trace teams.
The Alchemist’s decision to introduce the technology is part of the venue’s commitment to creating a safe and enjoyable space for customers.
Jenny McPhee, Brand Director at The Alchemist commented: “As we reopen for business, like so many others in the industry, we are facing a multitude of new challenges. It’s clear that hospitality could look very different for some time and so it makes complete sense to explore new technology to future proof how we interact with consumers. For us, bringing in FinGo is about offering choice. Providing a safe and secure option for guests to pay, prove their age and share contact details can only be a benefit as we navigate the coming months. To be one of the first to use FinGoID in the UK is truly exciting and we’re looking forward to seeing the response from our guests.”
Starting out with a payment focus at Festival Number 6, and a number of successful pilots including Proud Bar Camden, Brunel University, Copenhagen Business School, and the Etihad Stadium, FinGo has been redesigned in recent months to enable it to support a new post-COVID world.
Simon Binns, Chief Commercial Officer at FinGo, added: “Our initial launch in Manchester’s Spinningfields district, at the XYZ Building, was delayed by the pandemic, but this provided us with a really beneficial period to evolve the offer and address the emerging challenges brought on by COVID-19.
“Our vision is that you will be able to walk into any bar or restaurant and pay for your dinner or verify your age, all with the scan of your finger.
“What we have now is a solution that puts all of the customer power in their own hands. And unlike other solutions, no personal information is shared with the venue. With a quick scan of the finger, customers leave a secure record of their visit, if needed for test and trace purposes. Crucially this will also take some of the pressure off the hospitality staff who have many new guidelines to contend with.”
New users will only need to register once to use FinGo. After entering their details and verifying ID or bank details via the FinGo app, users can then scan and save their veinID at an onsite FinGo kiosk. Once registered, users are then free to use FinGo for age verification and payment purposes at any approved retailer.
Steven Alton, CEO of the British Institute of Innkeeping, believes the technology could accelerate the sector’s recovery: “Over the last 4 months in particular, we have seen an incredible shift in the technology available and how it can play an important role in the recovery of our sector. The innovative use of biometric identity solutions like FinGoID could play a big role in reshaping customer service.
With the emphasis shifting from staff managing payment and ID to delivering friendly and instinctive service, the possibilities to concentrate on the experiential role of pubs will be immense. Removing the difficulties of managing under-age drinking and ID checking is a really good example of this and will certainly be of great interest to our members going forwards.”
Law firm Kuits and Philip Kolvin QC advised on the licensing bid. Rebecca Ingram, associate, commented: “Kuits is delighted to have advised on the compatibility of FinGoID with regards to age verification conditions for licensing purposes. We are pleased that Manchester City Council have approved the system for its use in licensed premises, and look forward to working with FinGoID and their customers as they roll out across the city.”