Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Time is Money, Timesavior is Pay By Touch

Firms invest in timesavers for customers
As Americans continue to live more hurried lives, businesses are realizing they need to provide faster service if they want to remain competitive.

Companies are investing millions in new technologies and programs that shave a few minutes off of the total transaction time.

Ellen Davis of the National Retail Federation said time saving is increasingly becoming more of a priority for retailers.

“New technologies, new marketing and new payment programs are all about saving customers time,” Davis said. Pay By Touch, which offers both a new technology and a new payment program, allows consumers to identify themselves and pay with a fingerscan. The company is gaining huge momentum. Their personalized marketing program, which presents discounts and coupon offers based on personal preferences shows a lot of promise as well according to research done by Aite Group.

“As technology becomes less expensive for retailers and more embraced by consumers, retailers will continue to invest in new technologies that make the shopping experience quicker and more efficient,” Davis said.

Chuck Baine, owner of the Knoxville based convenience store chain Bread Box, was ahead of the curve in adding the Pay By Touch biometric finger scan payments at his stores, and he is waiting for more retailers and consumers to embrace it.

With Pay By Touch, a machine scans points on the finger and the money is automatically deducted from a person’s checking account. Baine added the technology more than a year ago as a way to reduce his credit card fees, but also found it saves customers’ time.

“It takes seconds to make your transaction,” Baine said. “There is no time spent waiting for a credit card to clear. You just put your finger down, put in a code, and walk out the door. It cuts a third of your time.”

Pay By Touch costs about $800 per store. In the convenience store business – which was created for speed – the money is well worth it, Baine said.

“If we can save you 10 seconds here, half a minute there, that’s what we are going to do, because then we become a value to you,” he said. “With both parents working, every minute you can save matters.”