Paying With Your Fingerprint?

Posted: July 12, 2013 | Updated: July 12, 2013

Could the next emerging payment method be associated with your fingerprint? In a recent six-month trial, a grocery store chain in France gave their customers the choice of signing up for a voluntary program to test the technology. The pilot program ran from October 2012 through March 2013 and saw more than 900 participants.

Those that chose to participate carried a payment card that had their fingerprint data stored on it and the terminal had a special add on where the finger was inserted to be read. When customers were ready to pay they simply presented their card and inserted a finger into the reader, where either the actual fingerprint ridges or veins in the fingertip were read.

In effect, the fingerprint data is the authentication method replacing the user entering a PIN number via a PIN pad. A recent, separate study of almost 2,200 shoppers showed that almost 50% of consumers were interested in biometric payment methods. Compared to just 30% and 23% in favor of contactless smartphone payment and text message payment methods respectively. Examples of biometric payments include fingerprint, palm, and iris scanners.


The 900 participants tallied a total of close to 5,000 transactions, which was considered to be a very good adoption rate. The average transaction amount was around €60, or about $78 USD. In a survey after the trial, 94% of the consumers that took part said they were open to the idea of using the fingerprint method for all in-store transactions.

It is interesting to see that the general public is open to this idea as a new form of paying for purchases. When the 24 Hour Fitness chain of fitness centers installed fingerprint readers as a way to speed up the check in process of members, some were skeptical about whether the public would be open to this technology. Over three years later the company still utilizes the readers to speed up check in and also increase validation of member usage.

While this one study seemed like a success, there aren’t any signs that you will be seeing in this your local grocery store stateside anytime soon though. If you are a business owner looking for the latest in payment processing technology or would just simply like a free, no strings attached statement analysis to see if you are truly getting the best rate possible, one of our payment experts is here to help. Contact us today at 877-517-4678 or simply fill out our quick signup form and we will be in contact with you.

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