PayTouch lets you pay for purchases using your fingerprints
If you went into a store without any cash, cards or mobile devices, would you be able to buy anything? Well, if both you and the store were using the new PayTouch service, the answer would be yes – all that you’d need to do is place two of your fingers on the fingerprint scanners of the PayTouch terminal.
When users first start with the system, they register their fingerprints at a PayTouch Enrollment station at a participating business. Those prints are then linked with one or more of the user’s debit or credit cards.
Once everything is up and running, the user can make purchases simply by placing two of their fingers on the dual fingerprint scanners of a PayTouch mobile payment device – they can use either their right index and middle finger, or left middle and ring finger. As soon as the system verifies their identity via their fingerprints, the payment is automatically made from the linked card.
The whole process takes only about five seconds, and requires no passwords, signatures, or pretty much anything other than two fingers. Additionally, PayTouch is reportedly free to use, involving no fees or commissions.
More information is available in the video below.
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christopher is right that you can't just change your fingerprints if someone makes a copy so it would pretty much require having a pin or password along with it that could be changed and to act as at least a basic protection against false matches.
I don't have much of a problem though if after using my credit card instead of signing for stuff I hand scan or use a finger print reader. That way if my credit card number is stolen and someone uses it, they already have fingerprints on file for the perp.
With that said though, the most common form of credit card theft seems to be database compromise and that is something that can be prevented better.
Pretend I use my credit card at newegg or something for the first time. When they process my transaction with Visa, Visa creates a new string of numbers and letters to reference not just the transaction, but newegg as the purchaser. Newegg stores that ID instead of my actual credit card # in their database so if they get compromised later the data retrieved in that compromise is useless to anyone wanting to clone my card with it and go on a spending spree.
People could still use skimmers etc. to clone cards but those methods are higher risk and lower reward than remotely compromising databases of eCommerce sites with thousands and hundreds of thousands of customers.
The idea of just trying to prevent compromise is an old school methodology that has reliably failed. Compartmentalizing those relatively inevitable compromises is the only rational measure.
They might seem absolutely fabulous but frankly, they won't get me again!
If you lose your credit/debit card, guess what... your fingerprints are all over the cards and it is relatively simple to lift those print. Fingerprint systems, for use in a public environment require "maintenance" which many forget about.
I always find it amazing how quickly we want to adopt technology before really understanding the ramification. Who does it make it easier for... the consumer or the company??
Finger print readers we tried in some grocery stores in the early 2000's. Due to their weaknesses their were scrapped by many.
I would never give up my prints other than required by law.