So as I’ve mentioned in a previous post I have an implant myself (xNT) and am pro-implant. Devices such as the Apexflex have features that I think are relevant to the future in the context of how we handle personal digital data and provide authentication.
However, when it comes to payment implants this os a different matter. Consider the current method of a physical card and the safety features awarded to us. If your card number is compromised it is easy for the Bank to issue a new one. If a freak accident occurs where an nfc reader electrocutes you / blows up, with a physical card most of us have our hand to the side of the reader. I know this example is far fetched but where there is at least 0.01%of something happening means thats a risk, think of it in 1s and 0s. A card is property of the Bank at all times (at least in the UK). They will have control of the card and can block it in cases of 1st party fraud or cloning and can thus reissue a new one where necessary. Now transfer that to an implant. They can’t control your implant, only its access rights to the payment network. Now each individual bank has control over its own cards, with an implant it would have access to the payment network as a given privilege, but how do you control access to a given account?
In order for this to work implants would have to work on a single global currency under single control (such as bitcoin).The current walletmoor proposal is basically here is a product that doesnt really do what we want it to do but its a fun substitute in the meantime. Hardly fills you with confidence.
So having said that, on one hand we see the efforts to create the physical possibility of payment implants, but where/or what is the proposal for the overhaul of the global payment system, or creation of a new payment environment to create this change for the future?
There are things like Apple Pay and Google Wallet that allow you to use a device that’s not your credit card in it’s place. The thing that’s used here is known as tokenization but I’m not familiar enough with payment systems to explain how it works.
There are also some keychains, pens, keyrings, and a few wearables that support this. So you can add your card to something like a ring or a bracelet and use that to pay. And when the card expires, you simply add your new card tou your wearable.
The problem here is that credit card networks are scared of implants so getting everyone on board to make an implant that supports this turned out to be rather hard.
Implants are exactly the same as cards and other payment accessories. They don’t afford more or less control.
What’s the difference functionally between implants operating on Bitcoin vs USD or Yuan. I understand that you may not like the “centralized authority” elements of genuine currency, but so few vendors take Bitcoin that you’re functionally required to submit to the authorities that run exchanges to turn it back into other currencies. Ignoring the volatility.
I’m not a huge fan of walletmor specifically because they’ve misrepresented their expiration dates and rushed some weak products, but the general idea of payment conversions is a solid one, given the limitations Mastercard and Visa impose on implants. I don’t mind things expiring in 7 years (personally even 2 or 3, but I get other’s hesitation).
In the long run the idea is to have implants be tokenized like Google pay so they can point at your card details on the back end, and can be retokenized whenever necessary for convenience or security. It’s just that we need to convince more people that implanted payment is worthwhile to prove to Mastercard and Visa that theres market demand.
There currently isn’t one, because we hope that’s unnecessary. Just like few vendors accept Bitcoin, few would accept a new payment environment set up explicitly for implants. You need a system that the vendors and users trust.
Sorry i was trying to describe the context of having a layer of insulation against a consumer electronic device. I just couldn’t find the words to describe what I wanted so it ended up being a long ramble.
But all in all thank you for your responses, this gives me a clearer idea of things.
True, however what would afford more control for Apex vs non-Apex style smartcard solutions is that with Apex Ring for example, you can tokenize payment accounts to the chip. In the event that the specific account in question expires or is revoked in some way, you can tokenize a different account. Of course MC could bring the hammer down on Fidesmo and get them to revoke payment from a single or all Apex chips… but this is much more unlikely.
Another thought i had is that having an implant installed always carries a risk of infection regardless. The card/wearable solution is risk free to the consumer. So logically speaking why would you inteoduce an unnecessary risk where a risk free process already exists. To paraphrase Andreas Sjöström, it doesn’t provide a solution to a problem.
Actually this is untrue. An infection comes from bacteria or viruses making their way into the body and proliferating. The typical type of infection associated with breaking the skin in this way is a bacterial infection. If the installation is performed properly and cleanly, with no associated infection, and the incision heals properly, then the risk of infection becomes statistically irrelevant. The opening in the skin which was required to install the device has now closed and is healed. How will bacteria now somehow materialize inside with a device? They won’t.
I think most people misunderstand their childhood experience. If you get a wood splinter, of course this is going to “become infected” because bacteria live completely in and out and throughout the entire structure of the wood splinter that is now inside your body. The infection seems to just materialize out of nowhere. But, if the device being installed subdermally is sterilized, then the only risk of introducing bacteria which could populate and form an infection is from the installation itself. If that is done properly and cleanly then there is no risk of infection suddenly welling up at some later date.
No one is trying to change your opinion or say implementing is the only option. If you don’t want one that’s fine! And those 3 reasons are enough for me to be happy. With payment options, security and reliability are the only things that matter to me. Being in my body is the most secure and reliable method of carrying a payment method with me.
The same tech that makes payments work is also useful for one time passwords, crypto wallets, access keys, and storing contact info. This is why I have an Apex implant regardless of the payment options being active. This technology already gets me into my house, work, car, is used for every online account I have, and running my home automations. It’s already replaced every key I owned and most of my wallet, I hope some day it will replace the rest of my wallet.
Everything in one secure, un-loosable, un-stealable, simple, implant.
It’s also difficult or impossible to skim or maliciously interrogate a card in an implant form factor. The antenna is smaller so you would have to be much closer, and it’s under a person’s skin which means it’s never left unattended.
The heart of the reason implants are “better” than other payment mechanisms goes to the heart of the whole payment idea. At the most basic level all you’re trying to do with a credit card is identify yourself. Carrying around a bunch of secure elements for different applications that all identify you is a shitty way to do that. You should be able to identify yourself by just being you, having your physical body. An implant makes you the authentication mechanism