Chip-and-skin: Payments’ Matrix moment

Autumn Cafiero Giusti – March 27 2018

Microchip implants could be considered the ultimate form of mobile payment — skipping the smartphone altogether in favor of giving people bionic abilities. And a small segment of the population is already lining up to try it out.

Proponents of the chips argue that implants could drive the future of payments and other smart functions, and that they create conveniences for those who are willing to embrace the technology. But critics question the ethical ramifications of offering chips in the workplace, and they raise questions about whether today’s chips provide enough of a compelling use case to justify their physical invasiveness.

Last April, Epicenter, a digital startup hub in Stockholm, made headlines after the company started making microchip implants available to its employees. A few months later, a Wisconsin firm, Three Square Market, followed suit, holding a highly publicized chip party on Aug. 1 where more than 50 of the company’s 85 employees volunteered to let a body piercer implant them with chips.