The Biometric Checkout

South Carolina retail chain letting users ditch their courtesy cards and scan their fingerprints as ID. It's more efficient and accelerates checkout by about a third.

A South Carolina retail chain is now allowing customers to ditch their courtesy card and use biometric technology to make checking out one-third faster.

The Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. is testing the finger-scanning payment system in four of its stores. The system, produced by San Francisco-based Pay By Touch, gives Piggly Wiggly customers the option of paying for their groceries by using a finger scan linked to their financial accounts and loyalty card information -- their Pay By Touch "wallet" -- which is stored at secure IBM data centers.

Once the customer is enrolled in the Pay By Touch system, the process is simple: The Pay By Touch transaction is intitated when the customer places his finger on the sensor and enters his phone number or other ID. The encrypted information is sent to the secure data center, where the match is found, and the customers "wallet" is presented at the point of sale. The customer selects a payment vehicle from the wallet, and payment approval and settlement are completed through the payment processor as usual.

Read the entire Progressive Grocer story here.