An Iowa City supermarket is believed to be the first in the state to let customers pay for their groceries by a finger-scan. Karen Friis, of Iowa City, was among the first Cub Foods patrons to sign up this week for the program called Pay By Touch.
Friis says “It just makes it easier when you come in to pay. It’s quicker.” Customers can register on-line or at the store by pushing a few buttons and letting the machine read their fingers and scan a check.
Michael Ham, of Iowa City, says it was a speedy process. Ham says “Just the fact that you have to do it three times on each finger was easy and then throwing your check through the machine once.” John Ziegler, the store’s customer service manager, says the Pay By Touch system should reduce the time spent in line, while giving some shoppers peace of mind. Ziegler says “Our main goal is to eliminate the timely checkout process of writing checks. A lot of senior citizens are at a higher risk for identity theft. Now they don’t have to bring a checkbook with them to the store.” They don’t have to use cash either as the system is tied to a customer’s checking account.
Pay By Touch does not use a fingerprint, rather, it reads about three dozen points on the finger tip, then it’s converted into a mathematical equation. Friis says it should be a snap. She says, “Nobody else has my fingerprint so I don’t think I can get into too much trouble.” If the system is well-received, it may find its way into more Iowa grocery stores in 2006. For more information or to register, visit www.paybytouch.com.