Bowdon RUFC, a popular grassroots rugby union club in Greater Manchester, is the first sports club in the world to introduce a new membership scheme based on members’ unique finger vein patterns.
As the club looks to bounce back post-COVID and safely reopen for members, it has given the final whistle to traditional memberships cards, asking members to scan their fingers to pay and prove identity going forward.
The club has rolled out a biometric system called FinGo, a unique finger vein mapping technology that enables payment and ID checks through a single scan of the finger. To use, members register their vein pattern once, connecting it securely to personal details and a digital wallet. Bowdon members can then scan their finger at the till to pay for food and drink in the clubhouse; and take advantage of discounts when paying with their finger.
As well as payments, the technology makes life easier for members by providing secure access to buildings and authenticating age, therefore removing the need to carry physical ID and devices. FinGo was given the go ahead to be used for age verification by Manchester City Council in July 2020, making it the first city in the world to introduce the technology for this purpose.
Tom Fleming, Chairman, Bowdon RUFC, said: “The club is really excited to roll out an innovative new scheme like this, and offer our members something different to the usual plastic cards. FinGo has made lives a little easier for members and staff too, as they’re able to come straight off the pitch and grab a drink without having to go fetch their cards. Already, we are seeing a steady shift away from traditional card payments or cash as members switch to FinGo.”
“It’s also been an easy way for members to support us financially. Having been shut down for near enough a full year we’ve obviously felt the impact. We hoped that by giving people the option to pay with a Bowdon digital wallet and get a members’ discount, we can both support our cash flow and encourage the important social aspect to the club
FinGo partnered with Counter Solutions to introduce a pre-paid digital wallet for members to load in order to pay through their vein scan, through the Bowdon Rugby Way2Pay app.
Simon Binns, Chief Commercial Officer, FinGo, commented: “We’re thrilled to support Bowdon with this landmark launch. We heard about plans to introduce a plastic card-based scheme, and wanted to offer a better alternative. This also builds on the work we’ve been doing in Greater Manchester over the last two years.
“Vein mapping isn’t a far-off, futuristic technology. It’s here now, and can help make transactions of all kinds simpler and more secure. We also hope it can play a real part in the all-important COVID recovery, for clubs and businesses at any level and in every sector. FinGo has already been able to help bars roll-out test and trace collection systems, introduce COVID test verification in care homes, and now it’s supporting grass roots sports clubs to rebuild revenues, as is the case with Bowdon.”