Pay By Touch

by Deepak Sharma on Monday, June 20, 2005

SiliconValley is reporting a new use of Biometrics in the Point of Sales applications. Biometrics so far has been limited to security (identifying people), labor management etc purposes. Pay By Touch brings Biometrics to the retail landscape. The company has implemented these finger-scanning payment system at couple of retail chains. The system is very simple and here is how it works:

During checkout, you simply place your finger on the reader, and enter your search number (usually your phone number). You are immediately identified and securely linked to your financial and loyalty accounts.

Then, at the touch of a button on a familiar keypad, you select your payment method: checking account, credit or debit card. Your purchase is approved, and your reward points are automatically recognized, just as if you had presented your cards or keychain tags at the point of sale. And Pay By Touch is always free, with no hidden fees....

The benefit to the customer comes by Faster Checkouts, no need to carry cash, credit/debit cards etc. After one time enrollment you can use the system at every participating retail stores.

The benefit to the Retailers lies in the fact that the system can be integrated with the existing PoS system using simple API's and can redcuce the transacation charges by few cents.
...the electronic network used to process the biometric transactions charges retailers a lower fee than other electronic networks now used to approve debit and credit card purchases. While the cost to a merchant from the electronic network used to process a debit or credit card purchase is about 35 cents, the same purchase over the Automated Clearinghouse Network used by Pay By Touch is about 10 cents, Morris said.

The only thing is what if the system goes down, what do we use as backup? My guess is Since it is built on top of the existing PoS system, you can still use that to check out.