Have fingerprint, will purchase
On Sunday, Beth and I stopped by a Whole Foods Market. It's not our regular grocery store, but we were in the neighborhood. It was pretty uneventful until we were checking out and we noticed the fingerprint reader.
The grocery store chain, which has made its name selling organic foods, lets you registered your fingerprint, which is then tied to your American Express or Discover card or your checking account. You don't need a wallet, a credit card, a drivers license. Nothing. Put your finger on the reader and you pay. The amount is automatically charged to one of your accounts.
Whole Foods is using technology from Pay by Touch, which has been in business since 2002.
It'll be interesting to see if this catches on. I'm hesitant to use discount cards that grocery stores issue. I don't want someone keeping a list of all the things I buy. Pay By Touch (http://www.paybytouch.com) says they don't sell any information on users. But I'm still not sure I'd sign up, though the convenience factor makes it tempting.
I can't help but think though that the government wants this to catch on and is watching customer acceptance. If in 10 years, every retail outlet is using the technology, why not every border crossing, airport security checkpoint and courthouse?
Still, I can't help but think of the implications of creating huge databases of fingerprints.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Nov 12, 2007 at 9:54 AM