Hitachi in October launched a dedicated device that reads the pattern of veins in people’s fingers.

The data is linked with the user’s credit card information via a cloud computing service, allowing them to shop without carrying a wallet or smartphone.

Veins are believed to be harder to fake than fingerprints, as they are inside the body.

Hitachi wants hotels to use the technology to check-in guests.

Tokyo-based startup Normee developed a system that identifies a person from the lines and shape of veins in their palm using a photo taken with a tablet or smartphone, and is aiming to use it for settling payments.

Honda Aya, who heads the company’s R&D group, says the system has many applications because it does not require any special equipment.

The spread of the coronavirus is lifting demand for contactless products and services.