And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: and that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name" (Rev. 13:11-17)
We hope you know the Reuters story today from Berlin on "Paying by Fingerprint at the Supermarket just provides an example of the biometric pay systems which are already in place and being implemented across America.
BERLIN (Reuters) - Customers of a German supermarket chain will soon be able to pay for their shopping by placing their finger on a scanner at the check-out, saving the time spent scrabbling for coins or cards.
An Edeka store in the southwest German town of Ruelzheim has piloted the technology since November and now the company plans to equip its stores across the region.
"All customers need do is register once with their identity card and bank details, then they can shop straight away," said store manager Roland Fitterer.
The scanner compares the shopper's fingerprint with those stored in its database along with account details.
Edeka bosses said they were confident the system could not be abused.
In their epic battle against big discounters, grocery chains around the country have deployed an army of IT projects to fill orders faster, freshen up the aisles and cut costs
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I.T. HIGHLIGHT: Experimenting with biometrics. Kroger has started pilots in three of its Texas stores in which registered shoppers can pay for groceries using a biometric finger scan.
Albertsons is making life easier for our pharmacy customers through our technological business solutions. A state-of-the-art computer system helps our pharmacists better serve our customers by providing enhanced drug-interaction and allergy screening, insurance billing, patient counseling information and drug information to increase accuracy of all prescriptions. A customer can also have their prescriptions refilled over the Internet at savon.com or over the phone. Technology is also giving both our customers and pharmacists more access to online health-related information to help them manage disease and promote good health.
Albertsons pharmacy systems incorporate strict controls to protect the privacy of our customers personal health information by only allowing access to this information by the trusted health professionals in the pharmacy. Some of the technologies employed in our pharmacy systems include biometric devices for user identification and sign on, flat panel color touch screens, imaging, paperless workflow, and electronic prescription capture.
How would you like to pay - credit card or fingerprint?" Grocer says customers are pleased to give it the finger
One supermarket has given its customers the choice of paying by fingerprint at its shop in the state of Washington - and found customers surprisingly willing to give the finger instead of payment at the checkout.
US chain Thriftway introduced the PayByTouch system in its shop in the Seattle area in 2002 and now sees thousands of transactions a month using the payment method.
Once enrolled on the PayByTouch system, users give their fingerprint as verification at the checkout and then chooses which of the credit cards that they've registered with the store they want to pay the bill with.
Thriftway president Paul Kapioski said rather than shying away from the technology due to privacy concerns, customer demand ensured the biometric payment made it past the pilot stage.
The fingerprint payment system was initially scheduled for a 60-day trial but "people were quick to warm up to it... after 60 days, we made it part of our payment package," he told the Retail Fraud Conference in London today.
"We found people came to the store because of this - lots of senior citizens felt more secure not carrying money to the store... The major concern is 'biometric, fingerprint, what's it going to be used for?'... Once [customers] understood what it was used for, it became a non-issue," he said.
Kapioski added that one man even drove 400 miles to use the technology.
Kapioski said the main business driver for the biometrics was cost, allowing the retailer to shave cents off the average cost of an electronic payment transaction. With the biometric system, customers are encouraged to use their debit card - which cost the company almost half as much as the same payment by credit card, for example.
Fraudulent transactions have dropped dramatically due to the system, Kapioski said, which now makes up 30 per cent of Thriftway's electronic payments.
"During the last two, two and a half years... there's not been a single fraudulent transaction on this system," he said.
John Davison, VP and research director at analyst house Gartner, said that customers were generally willing to accept technologies, such as RFID, that could infringe their privacy if the benefits of such technology could be 'sold' to them.
"Will customers object to RFID? Yes, if you don't sell it to them," he said. "Over two-thirds of customers will accept RFID if you sell them the basic utilities."
However, he added that certain areas of retail were still technology sacred. "The nearer you get RFID to the payment process, consumers get less keen. When you start linking... to their personal information, they're even less keen."
Grocery store goes to fingerprint payments Piggly Wiggly debuts feature, privacy expert slams new technology
The Piggly Wiggly grocery chain has announced it will begin offering a high-tech payment feature allowing customers in several stores to pay using their fingerprints.
With a touch of the finger to a light-sensitive pad, patrons will be able to pay for their groceries, provided they have an account in the store's system that can be debited, reported the Columbia, S.C., State.
The paper says stores in Columbia and Charleston are set to install the technology.
According to Pay By Touch, the San Francisco-based firm whose product is being used, the system takes 10 seconds to OK a payment by fingerprint.
Customer Karen Seymore is open to using the technology, the State reports.
"Not that it takes a lot of time to scan a debit card, but the finger scan would be more convenient," said Seymore, 32. "I'd just want to make sure the information is secure and couldn't get out to someone wanting to do damage."
Pay By Touch claims customers' personal information is stored in a secure database and cannot be accessed by unauthorized parties. The company says other stores that have utilized the technology find three-fourths of their customers sign up to use the fingerprint system.
Many privacy activists, however, oppose fingerprint payment technology. Katherine Albrecht is founder and director of Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering .
"We're extremely opposed to it," she told WND. "Of all forms of security, fingerprints are perhaps the least secure."
Albrecht explained research that has been done to show how a mold of a fingerprint can be made that then can easily be used to make a gelatin print. The fake print can be fit over someone's finger to be used fraudulently in a scanner.
"Why would you pick something [for security purposes] that you leave everywhere?" she asked, referring to fingerprints.
Albrecht also says fingerprinting is one small step away from embedded chips being used for payment. She says her organization is opposed to any sort of technology that can be used to track shoppers.
"When you eliminate cash, you eliminate anonymity," she explained, saying any kind of technology that tracks purchases can be used by governments to control food supplies.
According to Albrecht, an independently owned Thriftway store in Seattle was the first to use fingerprint payment technology about a year ago. Kroger then followed suit.