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The collection of the NBP Money Centre has been enlarged by a new and unusual acquisition – a subcutaneous payment implant

19 Maj 2022

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The collection of the NBP Money Centre gathers all exhibits related to the history of money, including the most recent history. We strive to show how through the ages payment customs and instruments have been changing. The payment implant is an innovation which we plan to use to encourage visitors to discuss the future of money.

The implant exhibited in the showcase is very small. Its shape slightly resembles a small safety pin, measuring approximately 0.5 mm x 7 mm x 28 mm and weighing less than 1 gram.  It has been made of biopolymer used in the production of medical products. This means that the human organism will not treat it as a foreign body and tissue will build up around it. The implant uses Near Field Communication (NFC) technology. This is a short range contactless and wireless communication technology (known already from mobile phones, among others) that uses radio waves to share information and transmit it over a distance of a few centimetres.

This implant does not emit any waves or radiation and does not have its own power supply. It is also not a device similar to GPS receivers and it is used exclusively for making payments. To use it, the customer needs to place it near a payment terminal. Then information contained in the chip is transmitted to the terminal via the implant’s built-in antenna.

Payment implants, like other modern technologies, raise controversies. Even the largest monotheistic religions are not indifferent towards such solutions. For example, the Apocalypse of St. John the Apostle refers explicitly to the mark of the beast placed on the right hand or on the forehand without which no one will be able to buy or sell. We should remember, however, that similar implants are used, for example, in medicine, and that they are safe for the human organism. One of the doubtless advantages of its use is the fact that it is always at hand, we do not have to worry about a forgotten wallet anymore, and we can use it in such places as a swimming pool, beach or concert, i.e. in all those places where we would prefer not to have a payment card on us.

Payment implants, like every breakthrough innovation, may inspire fear as well as delight. However, is it worth fearing everything new? We encourage discussion and we invite visitors to the premises of the NBP Money Centre.

NBP Money Centre Team