PayTouch is a new system that allows you to pay for purchases… using your fingerprints

PayTouch

Imagine going to a store without your wallet, purse, credit card, or cash and yet still paying for goods. Thanks to a relatively new system called PayTouch, consumers will be able to make purchases with their fingerprints.

Of course, in order to pay through the system both you and the business need to be using the PayTouch components. If you and the business are PayTouch ready, then all you have to do in order to checkout is place two fingers on a unique terminal.

To sign up with the service, consumers have to go to a participating business and register fingerprints at a PayTouch Enrollment station. The fingerprints will then be linked to a credit or debit card, which is automatically credited when a purchase is made.

Apparently, the payment process takes a maximum of five seconds to complete and the user doesn’t have to remember any passwords, or sign additional signatures. Essentially, all you will ever need is the two fingers you enrolled to the service with. There’s no mention about what happens if you lose the enrolled fingers, though.

PayTouch is free to use with no additional fees or commissions. This is definitely welcome, as other services like Paypal collect quite a hefty transaction fee. PayTouch earns money by collecting a commission for each purchase, which is obviously charged to the retailer.

I’ve included a video below that shows of the PayTouch system in action. Pretty cool, no?

[via PayTouch via Gizmag]

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8 comments

  1. Sally

    Really? Most of you commenting need a proper education on fingerprints. Lifting fingerprints is not as easy as “google” makes it out to be. Yes, it is not difficult to dust for fingerprints but there are techniques that must be used so that a fingerprint is not destroyed. Lifting a fingerprint without destroying or altering it is even more difficult. I have a Masters degree in Forensic Science, I can guarantee that the average Joe would not be able to properly dust and lift an entire PERFECT replica of someones fingerprint. In fact, most of the time an entire fingerprint is never left behind and never found. Now lets say that you miraculously found someones entire perfect fingerprints of the two fingers that the machine uses and lifted a perfect replica of them. Are you going to go in the store with the piece of tape and try to use it on the machine?

  2. simon

    What is stopping a criminal group from setting up a restaurant, getting hold of a Paytouch scanner and hacking it, harvest lots of fingerprints over a busy summer season and then cleaning out customer accounts later?

  3. Louis

    Well this would certainly be convenient no doubt, but Naveed, you’re right on this one — it’s easy to lift fingerprints, however not so easy to actually apply it to such a machine.

    But it can no doubt be done, by organised crime syndicates from certain well known countries, like [insert country name here] …. once your prints get out there, no card of yours will EVER be safe again..

    Which begs the question, since credit card companies have to reimburse you, the cardholder, if your card number is fraudulently used, will they even accept this method of payment from the start — the risk seems to be too high.

    And if it’s you buying with a debit card, I would rather not use this system at all.

  4. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@naveed] I’m not undermining. I’m saying if someone is able to do it, you probably have other things to worry about. I agree with you that it isn’t as easy to cancel a fingerprint than it is to cancel a credit card.

    That said, really how many waiters know how to lift a fingerprint? If a waiter was going to steal, they could easily do it via credit cards. My point isn’t that PayTouch is safe and nor am I disregarding the security issues related with it. I’m just: a) it is much easier, in every situation, to steal a credit card than it is fingerprints and b) if someone does steal your fingerprints, you have other things to worry about than fake purchases.

  5. naveed

    [@Ashraf]

    It’s trivial for a waiter to lift your fingerprints off a glass you used and that’s just one example. Just google “dusting for fingerprints”. Please don’t undermine possible security repercussions with new technologies. It would be ridiculously easy to exploit this system.

  6. Ashraf
    Mr. Boss

    [@Naveed] I’d assume stealing fingerprints is a bit more sophisticated than stealing credit cards and if someone is stealing your fingerprints, you probably have more important things to worry about than what s/he is buying in your name from Banana Republic.