TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Re: Supermarket: Let Your Fingers do the Paying

Re: Supermarket: Let Your Fingers do the Paying
Thu, 3 Feb 2005 17:40:13 UTC

Monty Solomon <> wrote:

> A supermarket has given its customers the choice of paying by
> fingerprint at a store in the state of Washington -- and has found them
> surprisingly willing to use the biometric system.

> [TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I do not understand one thing: If
> people have already been verified as to their ability and
> willingness to pay for their groceries through their credit card
> and their personal identification has been verified in much the same
> way by the credit card people, then *why* would people want to go one
> step further by enrolling in 'Pay by Touch'? Is this intended as one
> way to 'save them time' by not having to sign a credit card slip? In
> other words, touch your thumb or finger somewhere rather than taking
> a couple seconds to sign a slip of paper? Now, if the grocery people
> had set up their own credit system *in place of Visa/MC* by using a
> thumb/finger print, I can see where that might be useful, but
> otherwise, why bother? PAT]

I don't know, but presumably they would not have to have
their card with them. The biometric fingerprint scan provides
a positive ID and the store can just charge the purchase to
the cutomer's account on file. You could then leave the card
at home either on purpose or by mistake but still have no
problem at the checkout. Sort of like the old days when
the grocer actually knew who you were and if you forgot your
wallet he'd say, "bring the money back later." There is
the added security that no one else can use your account.
A new clerk doesn't need to recognize you or check your
ID for a written check. In theory you could cut the physical
credit card up and then *only* your fingerprint will allow
charges on that account.

Bill Ranck
Blacksburg, Va.

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: As long as the fingerprints accessed
some internal charge system (in lieu of or in addition to) a signature
on file, I see no problem with it. PAT]

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