Retail biometrics: money at their finger tips

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By: Wise Marketer Staff |

Posted on May 6, 2002

Retail biometrics: money at their finger tips

Customers at the West Seattle Thriftway supermarket in the US are paying for their goods with a simple touch of a finger at the checkout. Using Indivos Corporation's Pay By Touch service, the independent supermarket hopes to offer its customers a new level of convenience and security.

California based Indivos is the provider of the Pay By Touch payment service which allows consumers to access their bank and debit accounts electronically without having to use plastic cards, paper cheques, passwords and key fobs that are so easily lost, stolen or damaged. At the same time, the Pay By Touch service helps to eliminate fraud and lowers the costs associated with accepting payment, and aims to increase customer satisfaction overall.

Paul Kapioski, president of the West Seattle Thriftway, said, "Pay By Touch speeds up the checkout lanes and gives customers another way to safely pay from their preferred accounts by simply touching a reader at the time of checkout."

Fast and convenient Deployment of the Indivos system is likely to move customers through the checkout lanes more quickly because they don't have to take the extra time to find and handle cards, paper cheques or cash. And because it links to existing point-of-sale machines and payment networks, the Pay By Touch system is relatively simple to deploy. The system uses VeriFone payment terminals equipped with a simple finger-image reader through which consumers access the Pay By Touch service.

"Speed and convenience are key elements in enhancing the payment process. We believe the use of biometric authentication holds the promise of multiple benefits to store operations and for consumers at the checkout lane, including added security, privacy and ease of use," said Stuart Taylor, vice president of VeriFone. "The electronic payment industry is in the early stages of making available biometrics as a complementary security and access option alongside plastic cards and paper cheques."

How it all works: Customers using the free service enrol one or more of their credit, debit or cheque accounts. They can then access their accounts by touching a small reader linked to a credit card device or cash register and selecting their preferred payment method: electronic cheque, credit or debit. The system verifies the enrolled shopper's identity and provides account data to the checkout lane for approval. The transaction is then routed through the conventional financial networks.

"Consumer feedback has shown 94% overall satisfaction rate with the Pay By Touch service," said Phil Gioia, CEO of Indivos. "The option to voluntarily 'Pay By Touch' builds on the uniqueness of each individual and gives consumers more flexibility and choice about how they want to access their existing accounts."

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