Sunday, February 12, 2006

Walmart Going with Pay by Touch?

According to a study by an analyst at financial firm Sanford Bernstein, both Wal-Mart and Costco are "looking ... closely" at Pay by Touch, which would allow consumers to pay via finger-scan (neither company would comment on the report).

According to the study, biometric checkouts -- which are already in use in branches of some supermarket chains, including Albertson's and Piggly Wiggly -- could save Wal-Mart as much as 20% in processing costs. Of course, privacy advocates are likely to balk at providing major retailers with fingerprints, but we sort of assume that, as big as it is, Wal-Mart's already got the ability to collect any data that they want, and withholding our prints isn't going to change that.