For a lot of tech innovations, the Nordics are the hotspot. For the longest time, the concept of paying with the microchips inserted in the hands was terrifying the majority of the world’s population. As the financial world has been going through a revolution, completely changing the way we look at our financial tools and payment methods, these radical changes are becoming more common and most importantly accepted. Fintech have stolen the spotlight from every other financial endeavor and has created a new wave of innovators and tech enthusiasts looking to create a completely revamped financial world where the technology is an integral part of every transaction.
The Nordics have managed to stay ahead of the game in technology as they have done so in the past too. They often don’t share the usual approach to things as is the case with microchips. For example, online sports betting sites in Norway operate in a very unique way, functioning under complete monopoly, even though anywhere else this would be considered a negative thing. The rest of the world has a negative attitude towards the microchips as well but the Nordic people don’t seem to care.
Sweden as the capital of tech
A lot of the innovation comes from the western world, the U.S and Europe. The Nordics have always been on the frontlines of tech development and adoption as well, which is why the fact that the first microchip offer happened in Sweden as well. Being one of the most progressive and tech-savvy countries ever means that changes like these, which usually scare less developed countries or those skeptical of the safety of the product are embraced more in the north than anywhere else.
The majority of the world was still freaked
out upon hearing that Sweden was issuing a microchip implant to make the
payment even easier and convenient.
The microchips that are taking over Sweden
right now are aimed at simplifying the daily routines of Swedes, meaning that
with the implants in their hands they can access their homes, gyms, finances.
And through digital readers, they can make these daily routines much easier and
faster. No more forgetting your cards at home or trying to find it at the
bottom of your dress.
Another convenient use for these microchips is
storing emergency contact details which would make identifying people in
extreme cases or reaching them much easier. And in addition to that apparently
it is also possible to store tickets for almost everything straight in the
microchip. Sweden’s biggest train company is already allowing its users to use
this technology to verify their tickets and soon enough this technology could
reach the regular grocery stores and restaurants.
A new era of technology
The idea definitely sounds scary but it looks
like Sweden is ready for a new era of technology.
There are a lot of misconceptions about this microchip and some of them have been around ever since the idea first resurfaced. The most prominent one is of course about safety. It has been said before that these chips could tamper with the health of those having it. Right now the government of Sweden is ensuring everyone that there are no health hazards involved in these implants but of course there are more than enough people questioning this statement. These concerns cover not only the physical toll such a procedure could take but also the security and the possibility of hacking into these microchips that count potentially put the lives of those using these chips in severe danger. Considering the important health data that will be stored on these microchips the risks are extremely high.
But a lot of Sweden’s population does seem to
care about these concerns. According to the Swedish company providing these
microchips, the demand has been so high that they can’t even keep up with the
number of requests.
How these microchips work
These microchips cost around $180 to insert and are about the size of a grain of rice. Typically they are inserted in the area above the user’s thumb through the syringe. The procedure all together looks very similar to the one conducted during the vaccinations. The company that is currently dominating the microchip market is Biohax International. The firm has been working on producing microchips for over five years now and over the year accumulated enough experience to take on such endeavors with confidence. Currently, around 4000 Swedes have these microchips, and not surprisingly most of them are actually Stockholm startups and entrepreneurs. The tech community is very close in Sweden so when the talk about the possibility started young developers and tech enthusiasts started lining up to get their hands on the cutting edge technology.
For the leaders of this movement, having
multiple different passes and cards just does not make sense, so for them,
there is no alternative to this simplified procedure.
There are a lot of people who have had the
chip for years now. Sweden is definitely an exception to this rule since the
Swedes are pretty pragmatic and usually won’t fall for all the myths and panic
around the technology.
Trusting the innovation
There are two main reasons why this technology took off specifically in Sweden and not any other well-developed country. The first is that Sweden is already basically cashless, and the country has been very determined to take the cash completely out of the rotation and introducing a microchip is a perfect solution for their problem. The second reason is that Sweden is already very technologically advanced and they pride themselves on always staying ahead of the game in technology.
The crucial part of making this sort of
technology work is that the community has to trust the government officials and
institutions that hold their information. In Sweden, there is a high trust
between the people and the government and they trust these officials to not
misuse this information. There are very few countries that can say that they
have this balanced relationship so it’s not surprising that most countries
don’t want to get into this technology and increase the power that the
government already has. No matter what the general stance is on this
technology, the fact is that Swedes are ready for the technological advances
and so far it seems like there haven’t been any serious setbacks for those who
have chosen to embrace this innovation. While the number of people managing
their daily lives with microchips is not that high, the trend will continue to
grow and maybe soon the entire nation will be using microchips in their daily