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Would you like this chip in you?

Close to one in five Australians are “interested” in having a microchip implanted in their hand they could use to make payments, according to a new report from a financial services technology firm.Despite already being able to pay for things with your phone or watch, 17 per cent of Aussies said they were interested in…

Close to one in five Australians are “interested” in having a microchip implanted in their hand they could use to make payments, according to a new report from a financial services technology firm.

Despite already being able to pay for things with your phone or watch, 17 per cent of Aussies said they were interested in actually implanting a chip that lets you make payments into their body.

This was slightly ahead of the 15 per cent of respondents in the UK and the US, but far behind China, where 49 per cent said they were interested.

China recently launched a new “digital currency” it hopes will become the global reserve like the US dollar did following World War II.

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The report was conducted by FIS Global, which “provides technology solutions for merchants, banks and capital markets firms”.

Its local general manager for global e-commerce Phil Pomford said the higher interest in Australia was to be expected.

“Australians are usually on the front foot when it comes to adopting emerging payment trends and we have already seen a huge uptake in biometric payment trends like fingerprint sensors and facial recognition technology.”

That “huge uptake” could be partially due to the addition of payment options on your smartphone or watch, like Apple Pay or Google Pay, that allow you to pay for things on your phone which is protected with biometric tech like Face ID and fingerprint sensors.

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The interest level was highest in younger people, with Gen Z and Gen Y interested at a rate of 25 and 24 per cent respectively.

A total of 16 per cent of Gen X were interested and only 7 per cent of Baby Boomers liked the idea.

“This is really just the beginning and we anticipate that further innovations in this area, including voice-activated commerce, will continue to become more widely adopted by the mainstream public.”

This could include things like asking your smart speaker to order groceries or telling Siri to use the banking app on your phone to send cash.

According to the report, 23 per cent of Australians were already using or want to use their voice to make payments.

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“Convenience is king to today’s consumer, particularly the younger generations, who are more likely to adopt new and emerging technologies trends if it means they are rewarded with some level of convenience in return,” Mr Pomford said.

He added retailers would need to broaden their payment options in order “to thrive in the future”.

In 2018, Sydney biohacker Meow-Ludo Disco Gamma Meow-Meow (yes it’s his real legal name but that’s not the weird bit) was fined for fare evasion after implanting an Opal card in his hand.

The chip was eventually cancelled and he later got the conviction overturned, but still had to pay legal costs.

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