Would you rather be hands-off or hands-on with your security? This week [retail bytes] is looking at the latest developments in payment technology – let’s get our hands dirty.

Bots on the attack: Fifty-five years ago the first patent was requested for a ‘bank cashier bot’ – replacing a human with an ATM machine. The inventor was inspired by chocolate bar vending machines – our kind of guy. It was meant to liberate banking staff so that they had more time to help your business with their ‘high touch’ lending. If only. SME lending has since gone down and ATM automation has freed the banking staff to harass us and mis-sell dodgy financial products that we can’t afford. Retail automation is not a road paved with roses.

Lift a finger: To make matters worse, ATMs are notoriously insecure and vulnerable to device fraud. An up-and-coming Polish company called ITCARD is using new finger vein technology to increase authentication methods by asking for a fingerprint. This ‘Planet Cash network’, developed in conjunction with Hitachi has the Polish version of biometric ATMs rolling out in Europe this year. So far the security levels are reported at 100%. We shall see.

Talk to me: An alternative to finger vein tech is a voice-recognition password based on the individual wave patterns of your voice. Chatting to your ATM and saying my-voice-is-my-password may be all you need if Nuance, the company behind Apple’s Siri, is right. Also, if you lose your credit card the experience of calling the bank’s emergency call centre to report theft is not fit for the 21st century. You will suffer a string of verification questions and the process takes forever. As strangers can guess 17% of your security questions, Nuance is introducing identification tech that is painless to the user. If we could pay online with our voice instead of scrambling for passwords and fiddling with credit cards that would be awesome.

Pictionary for passwords: Finger veins are all very well, but once hackers steal your fingerprint then your identity is up for theft. Salvation may be here in the form of… doodles. The way we doodle is unique to each individual, and a new verification system is using biotech based on your gesture (i.e. doodling). Bio-Tect ID is not a physical biometric and does not ask you for fingerprints. It simply learns your unique way of drawing a four-character password using your finger, saves it, and then lets you unlock your phone or ATM by repeating the password. Watch the video, marvel and chip in to their Kickstarter campaign. Google may be on to something!

Nailed it. If our fingers are going to be used in public places for biometric identification, they need to be a) clean and b) look a lot more attractive. A new, sleek, mint-coloured Nailbot is coming to the market, inviting you to put the prints, logos, emojis or art from your smartphone directly onto your nails. Your favourite logo or emoji is sent via Bluetooth to the Nailbot’s thermal inkjet printer, which then paints the design on your nails. Hipsters: watch the video and eat your heart out – tattoos are sooo last year.

Let us know if you prefer fingerprints, doodles or voice recognition as verification tools – you could win a case of Champagne! Tweet us @RetailPractice with the tag #TrueYou