The advent of self-checkout has thrown up challenges such as how best to eliminate fraudulent transactions and ensure under-18s aren&'t using the automated system to buy alcohol. This led the Midcounties Co-op to investigate biometrics and it now offers a secure pay-by-touch service that uses fingerprint scanning to identify signed-up shoppers. Fingerprint ID has proved more user-friendly than iris scanning.
"Once you have a person&'s biometric profile, identity and age verification issues can be overcome," says Bill Waterson at Fujitsu. "Certain shoppers like being able to leave cash at home. Pensioners who fear being mugged are proving great advocates of pay-by-touch."
For the retailer, the benefits of cutting out cash handling are clear. Staff using fingerprint ID to log on to tills is also being looked at.