An engineering student at Lund University in Sweden has created software that allows shoppers to pay for food by scanning their hands.

Fredrik Leifland established the Lund-based company, Quixter, to offer hand vein scanning software to stores and coffee shops "as a form of payment," he says in a press release. These hand-scanning terminals are installed in 15 stores and restaurants mainly around the Lund University campus and have 1,600 active users, he says.

Leifland started working on his idea to create the payment system with a group of classmates at Lund University in 2012.

"Every individual's vein pattern is completely unique, so there really is no way of committing fraud with this system," he says in the release. "We had to connect all the players ourselves, which was quite complex: the vein scanning terminals, the banks, the stores and the customers."

To sign up for the hand payment service, users must visit one of the terminals, enter a Social Security number and phone number and then scan their palm three times. The system sends a text message with an activation link, and the user completes registration online.

Many payments companies have experimented with systems based on biometric authentication. New Jersey-based PulseWallet offers a system that can be used to accept payments as well as allow employees to clock in and out by scanning a palm. And Discover Financial Services is testing technology from France's Natural Security at the card network's Riverwoods, Ill. Headquarters.

Solidus Networks Inc. offered a point of sale payment system called "Pay By Touch" until the company went into bankruptcy in 2008. Solidus also offered a biometric payroll cashing system called Paycheck Secure.

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