Saturday, June 03, 2006

UK Chip and PIN already obsolete?

A Midcounties CO-OP experimented with a so-called Pay By Touch product, allowing payment with the use of a finger, rather than card (see link). At the checkout the shopper uses a simple finger scan for identification and, in doing so, a payment is made directly from his or her bank account, while members’ Co-op dividend points are automatically awarded.

Research showed that overall, shoppers were very supportive of this new initiative. Over half of those surveyed said they had either already enrolled in the service or intended to do so shortly. Over 75% of shoppers questioned said they would like to see the service available at other local retailers like M&S and Somerfield. When compared to Chip and PIN, 85% of shoppers felt Pay By Touch was more convenient and 76% felt it was more secure.

Undoubtedly there will be more to this than the press release tells us. It just isn't that easy to do the biometric stuff in payments.