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Startup OVE reveals prototype for flexible biometric payment device

Startup OVE reveals prototype for flexible biometric payment device

San Francisco-based startup OVE has unveiled a prototype of its Touch & Go fingerprint scanner for biometric retail payments.

Co-founder and CEO Ciao Buchalla shared images of the device, which OVE refers to as a “Sensor,” in a LinkedIn post.

The Touch & Go’s capacitive fingerprint sensor is provided by Fingerprint Cards, Buchalla told Biometric Update in an email. The device can be deployed at the point of sale, but is small enough to be portable, and the company claims it can be adapted to access control and self-checkout use cases.

“The sensor was designed to be mobile and adaptable to every scenario, from opening tabs at bars to paying at the table at restaurants, and from self-checkouts at grocery stores to gas station pumps,” Buchalla says.

He reveals that OVE is currently conducting a seed funding round to back the industrialization of the OVE sensor. Pre-seed funding came from private investors in the U.S. and Buchalla’s native Brazil. The company hopes to bring the Touch & Go to market by the end of 2024. Talks with PCH are ongoing, but progressing well, he says.

The company is working on securing certification from what Buchalla characterizes as a “major credit card processor,” and the system accepts debit cards from most U.S. banks and all major credit card brands, according to the company website. OVE also offers the flexibility for different payment methods to be linked to each of a person’s fingerprints.

The system connects to the retailer’s existing POS system through Wi-Fi.

Buchalla and his co-founders began developing the device in 2020, and has overcome significant challenges, particularly on the hardware side.

“One of our biggest challenges was creating a system capable of securely storing millions of fingerprint hashes in the cloud and ensuring accurate matching when a consumer uses our system,” Buchalla tells Biometric Update. “Previous technology primarily focused on 1-to-1 fingerprint matching stored locally on smartphones. We had to develop a matching system capable of handling 1-to-millions of encrypted fingerprint data in the cloud. To achieve this, we’ve integrated AI into our system to support the biometric matching algorithm, enabling continuous learning and refinement with each match, and we also added a few extra hardware pieces into our device.”

Buchalla sees user experience as a key differentiator for OVE. The ubiquity of facial images online and concerns about AI voice generation also set it apart from some biometric payment methods on offer.

The company’s business model involves distributing scanners “to merchants through partnerships with payment companies,” and consumers register payment methods to their fingerprints using the OVE Touch & Go app.

The Touch & Go is protected by US patent 11961081B2, which covers payments from a range of account types through fingerprint biometrics.

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