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Fingerprint Payment System Gets Financing

ScuttleMonkey posted about 9 years ago | from the take-my-finger-to-the-store-and-buy-bread dept.

Businesses 179

prostoalex writes to tell us Yahoo! News is reporting that Pay By Touch, an electronic payments startup that connects your fingerprint to your wallet, has received an additional $130 million in financing to move forward with their biometric payment system.

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Oh, great. (5, Insightful)

Pig Hogger (10379) | about 9 years ago | (#13718942)

Now, thieves will cut the fingers off people they mug.

Isn't technology wonderful???

Re:Oh, great. (2, Insightful)

CryptoLogica (463378) | about 9 years ago | (#13718958)

Its already a method of stealing cars that have biometric access. There was a story awhile back (I think here on Slashdot) that mentioned a man getting his finger cut off when the perps realized they needed it to start the car.

Biometrics is a technology we can do without.

Unreliable (5, Insightful)

Cave_Monster (918103) | about 9 years ago | (#13718983)

We use fingerprint technology at work. Without scanning our fingerprint (in addition to entering a personal code of digits) we cannot get through the door. On occasions this scanner fails to recognise your fingerprint and after a few tries, you either try a different door or get someone else to scan their fingerprint. I cringe at this to be used for payments for this reason, not to mention somebody using standover tactics and forcing you to pay for their purchase or even like the parent mentions, getting your finger cut off.

Re:Unreliable (1)

jmcmunn (307798) | about 9 years ago | (#13719033)

Totally agree. Half the time the credit card scanners at the grocery store don't read my card as it is. I can only imagine how quickly the finger scanners will wear out and then you sit there waiting for the cashier to call the manager who is the only one that knows the special code to override the damn finger scanner...

Credit cards (or better yet, something like the Mobil Speedpass) are perfectly fine for now. No need to spend all the money upgrading the systems just yet...

Re:Unreliable (5, Interesting)

utnow (808790) | about 9 years ago | (#13719324)

I can think of at least one thing that would make the system a bit more secure.

When you sign up to use the system, they scan all 10 of your fingers. You assign one (one per hand?) of them as the proper finger(s), and the remaining fingers serve as ALERT fingers. So assuming (like in your scenario) someone is standing over you with a gun you can proceed with the payment (or whatever) as usual (aka, you don't get shot), and the athorities can be alerted that you're in a 'situation'. Just use the wrong finger. Since you set your own 'correct' finger, the guy/gal won't know you've done anything, and will at least think twice before putting a gun to your head and telling you to do it. They can't just cut them all off and try them all since the chance of scanning the wrong ones is too high (8 or 9 out of 10) unless they watch you do it before approaching you. I'm rambling... you get the picture. 3

Re:Unreliable (2, Insightful)

Heisenbug (122836) | about 9 years ago | (#13719457)

When you sign up to use the system, they scan all 10 of your fingers. You assign one (one per hand?) of them as the proper finger(s), and the remaining fingers serve as ALERT fingers.

That strike me as 1) an easy secret to steal 2) difficult technology to implement 3) pretty likely to yield false positives, either by misreading or by user error 4) way harder than just using a credit card.

Sorry, I think I'm actually talking about the whole system here. Carry on ...

One Small Problem (2, Insightful)

Hal The Computer (674045) | about 9 years ago | (#13719469)

Do you have any idea how incredibly stupid most people are. How often do you think someone is going to press the wrong finger onto the scanner by accident. After the first time, the police department is going to stop sending in a SWAT team and just call the store and ask if they have another very confused customer.

Re:Oh, great. (4, Interesting)

turg (19864) | about 9 years ago | (#13719000)

Now, thieves will cut the fingers off people they mug.
Oh, yeah. The thief will just take the severed finger into the grocery store and use it right in front of the clerk. That'll work real well.

Seriously, though, there are biometric devices that confirm whether the finger is the correct temperature.

Re:Oh, great. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719117)

Seriously, though, there are biometric devices that confirm whether the finger is the correct temperature.

That's why you carry them in your mouth until you need them.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

mwilli (725214) | about 9 years ago | (#13719270)


Which leaves the question: (1)

game kid (805301) | about 9 years ago | (#13719125)

Are Pay By Touch's machines among them? (TFA doesn't say...)

Re:Oh, great. (4, Informative)

austad (22163) | about 9 years ago | (#13719129)

Temperature can be fooled too with this technique [] , and it allows one to lift a fingerprint from just about anywhere, including the fingerprint scanner they just used.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

freeze128 (544774) | about 9 years ago | (#13719276)

Oh, yeah. The thief will just take the severed finger into the grocery store and use it right in front of the clerk. That'll work real well.
Why not? They don't look at your signature and make sure that it matches your name. Hell, they don't even care if you don't write WORDS! A new feature at fast food places is that you present the credit card, and you dont even have to sign if it's under $25.

Re:Oh, great. (1)

CsiDano (807071) | about 9 years ago | (#13719428)

What about raynauds Syndrome. My Own mother suffers from this and causes her fingers to go cold. She wouldn't be able to buy groceries in the winter if the scanner checked temperature. For about an hour after being outside in the cold she has "dead fingers" they get all white and look kinda like deflated baloons. It's gross. Here's some back ground info. .htm []

Re:Oh, great. (1)

Guppy06 (410832) | about 9 years ago | (#13719429)

"The thief will just take the severed finger into the grocery store and use it right in front of the clerk."

Why pay $5.15 an hour for a warm body when this fingerprint system means you have less reason to have someone around to handle cash?

Re:Oh, great. (1)

eLDeR_MMHS (237991) | about 9 years ago | (#13719043)

Just wait for the retina scan!

You ain't seeing nothin' no more...

You ain't seeing nothin' no more... (1) (410908) | about 9 years ago | (#13719109)

caus' that's an anal probe...

Re:Oh, great. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719067)

Damn straight.

Gimme five Bitch!

Trusted Metrics (2, Insightful)

QuaintRealist (905302) | about 9 years ago | (#13719203)

There is a more profound problem with using body parts for trusted metrics, which has been brought up on this site and others before. If your "ID" is stolen, you cannot change it. Until, and unless, we can secure digital information (doubtful from this perspective), biometrics will remain interesting but unuseful in wider implementation.

Re:Trusted Metrics (2, Informative)

tboult0 (880064) | about 9 years ago | (#13719407)

Actually the are number of revocable or cancable biometrics-based technologoies being developed. has one and IBM has had many recent press releases on their work. These at least protect against database hacks/insiders so that when (not if) a database is compromised. Also recent work at MSU has show real progress on a fuzzy vault that hides digital keys in a fingerprint. Securics even has a version that mixes a pin/passcode with the cryptograpically transformed print, but neither is stored separately. This means it cannot be used to search for you.

Cancable (1)

QuaintRealist (905302) | about 9 years ago | (#13719451)

Although I hate to show ignorance, I cannot understand the word "cancable", and cannot find a reference to it in google or elsewhere (except as a website name). I note that your posting history pertains exclusively to biometrics, and I hope you can explain - no sarcasm whatsoever - I am trying to learn

Thank you in advance


Been there, done that, got the T-shirt.... (2, Informative)

deburg (838010) | about 9 years ago | (#13719412)

Malaysia car thieves steal finger m []


The car, a Mercedes S-class, was protected by a fingerprint recognition system.


But having stripped the car, the thieves became frustrated when they wanted to restart it. They found they again could not bypass the immobiliser, which needs the owner's fingerprint to disarm it.

They stripped Mr Kumaran naked and left him by the side of the road - but not before cutting off the end of his index finger with a machete.

As long as I can pay for gas with my middle finger (5, Funny)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 9 years ago | (#13718953)

... actually i'd like to pay for everything with my middle finger...

Fucking sweet.

Re:As long as I can pay for gas with my middle fin (0, Offtopic)

coolcyber (901771) | about 9 years ago | (#13718970)

lol. nice

Re:As long as I can pay for gas with my middle fin (1)

KarmaBlackballed (222917) | about 9 years ago | (#13719019)

Does it have to be a finger, or can it be a different body part? I'd like to pay for gas with something else.

Which, of course... (1)

game kid (805301) | about 9 years ago | (#13719049)

...would require a fingernail payment system.

Not to mention a modesty curtain to shield your opinion of Big Oil from the kids in the back seat.

Re:As long as I can pay for gas with my middle fin (1)

tagayakal (920393) | about 9 years ago | (#13719262)

If somebody says you drive like a wuss, show them the finger and it'll show them that you can have driving lessons anytime you want! :)) And if a policeman pulls youi over for driving like a maniac, all you have to do is raise your middle finger and not only will it relieve you of your anger at the cop, you can pay the ticket right there! =))

Seriously... (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13718959)

...what is wrong with my credit card?

Re:Seriously... (3, Funny)

slashname3 (739398) | about 9 years ago | (#13719036)

You already maxed out that card. And with your credit rating, do they actually give out a 401 credit score, you can't get another one.

Biometric is not secure (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13718961)

Everything I have read about biometrics security amounts to this:

Biometric security can be sniffed with a network sniffer and reproduced by the person with the sniffer. In short, biometrics is no more secure than a four letter password.

Re:Biometric is not secure (1)

sr180 (700526) | about 9 years ago | (#13719378)

Yes, but you can change your password. Try changing your biometrics.

connects your fingerprint to your wallet (4, Funny)

jasonditz (597385) | about 9 years ago | (#13718962)

That's going to make it a bitch to type.

information everywhere (1)

firl (907479) | about 9 years ago | (#13718963)

yeays, just another place that will log my fingerprint ... lets see people getting access to my personal information that I might not want hrmm, that must be good. I never liked the idea of even the government having my fingerprints on file, so I always opted out of it during the 'class' field trip to see what the government office was like. I like the idea of heat patterns for this instead because that doesn't leave a trace that someone can duplicate unless they have a thermal monitor and something to replicate it.

Am I missing something? (3, Insightful)

turg (19864) | about 9 years ago | (#13718969)

From the article:
Here's how it works: Customers sign up once, by registering a checking account or a credit card, and showing government identification such as a driver's license. The Pay by Touch technology records the lines and ridges of their fingerprints, and translates the data into a numerical algorithm that is stored in a secure database.

[ . . . ]

Pay By Touch is sharing the cost of each installation, and it gets a fee per transaction of between 12 and 14 cents, he said.

That is cheaper than what stores pay for alternative payment methods, he explained. A credit card transaction typically costs a store about 60 cents for an average $25 purchase of groceries. A debit card costs a store about 50 cents
But it is a credit card or debit/check card transaction. So how are the debit/credit card fees getting paid?

Re:Am I missing something? (5, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 9 years ago | (#13719088)

Once you're identified, the store writes an electronic check from your bank account. The credit card companies aren't involved and don't take their cut.

The system is much cheaper for stores than credit cards. 60 cents Visa gets is more than ~15 cents Pay by Touch + check costs

I see these every time I go to the grocery store. I always wonder: what's the benefit to me? What do I care if the store saves 45 cents?

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

turg (19864) | about 9 years ago | (#13719197)

It says you can register a credit card or a bank account.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

Seumas (6865) | about 9 years ago | (#13719136)

It's not a credit transaction per se. You are granting the the store permission to take money out of your bank account electronically any time they want. You are trusting that they will actually only do this when appropriate, but you have no way to be sure. And once you grant them access to your account, the only way to cease their access is to close your bank account and create a new one.

A number of people have had major complaints with companies that do this sort of thing - because they may and do just keep charging your bank account for things you are no longer subscribing to or use or want. And while you can tell them to stop - they still have access to your account and you can't make them stop. Period.

Thanks, but I don't want anyone but myself to have access to withdraw directly from my account.

Re:Am I missing something? (1)

nitehawk214 (222219) | about 9 years ago | (#13719285)

And while you can tell them to stop - they still have access to your account and you can't make them stop. Period.

This is why I never use my bank card for anything other then the ATM or emergencies. If someone commits fraud on my bank card, my bank account will be empty until I can get it sorted out with the bank. I know people that have had this happen and it has taken weeks for them to get any money at all, even from their direct deposit paychecks.
Using the credit card get around this, because if I see bad charges on it, I can call up the credit card company and dispute the charges before I have to pay the bill.

Re:Am I missing something? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719265)

That's ok, they will make it up in volume.

Re:Am I missing something? (2, Informative)

JimBobJoe (2758) | about 9 years ago | (#13719331)

The article does a lousy job at explaining that (I read that the 12-14 cents per transaction go to Pay by Touch.)

The Merchant FAQ> on the site says...

What is the cost to me?
As a merchant, you make a small investment in the Pay By Touch hardware and processing. This investment is quickly offset, however, by savings you'll realize due to less fraud, shorter tender times, payment type shifts, and the repeat business you can expect from offering your customers a better shopping experience.

Can I really expect higher profits?
Yes. In addition to the savings mentioned above, your bottom line will also be improved through the lower transaction costs resulting from your being able to influence your shoppers' payment choices.

"Influencing your shoppers' payment choices" is alredy done at many stores--when I use my debit card (like at Target) a keypad will appear for my PIN--so that the transaction is run as a debit and not on the MC/Visa system (to run as a credit requires me to select "cancel" as I recall.)

I believe the big savings are had by encouraging the customer to register their checkbook. Instead of running the transaction as a debit (ACH) or credit charge, Pay by Touch will try it first as an "echeck"--esentially a paper check but without the actual paper (at least, that's how I'm understanding things.)

If the customer chooses ACH debit or credit card, then the savings aren't there (or Pay by Touch swallows the extra costs.)

Cool (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13718972)

This is going to kick ass when I find out I have the same print as Oprah.

shitest idea ever (0, Redundant)

timmarhy (659436) | about 9 years ago | (#13718974)

yes great when someone steals your finger print your fucked aren't you. not to mention it's the easiest to steal and duplicate

Re:shitest idea ever (1)

ZachPruckowski (918562) | about 9 years ago | (#13719178)

Very well said. It is incredibly easy. As shows like CSI keep showing, you can get a person's fingerprints pretty easily. Shouldn't be hard for an enterprising criminal to swipe a few fingerprints each day. Especially if he works around wealthier people, he can get "good" ones.

But, it'd be hard to graft onto your finger, and you'd look weird swiping a piece of paper or whatever over the finger swipe.

Re:shitest idea ever (1)

Rakishi (759894) | about 9 years ago | (#13719385)

Depends, with some effort you can probably create a nice skin-colored fake patch to put over your finger. You really only need it to stay on and look real from a distance. You can probably even use a rather crude mold if you're decent at concealing it when using it.

Re:shitest idea ever (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719420)

Yes, but at least at Cub Foods, you need a pin too. This just makes it so I don't need to bring my wallet grocery shopping. Also, the scanner looks more like a heat-pattern scanner than a fingerprint reader. It's opaque and doesn't have any lights.

Which Finger? (2, Interesting)

NtroP (649992) | about 9 years ago | (#13718977)

I have a chronic problem with the skin of my thumbs and occasionally my index finger. Do I get to choose and alternate finger? Multiple fingers?

Re:Which Finger? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13718990)

Try taking it out of your ass first

Re:Which Finger? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719413)

what about the people with no fingers :-) Don't worry they still have toes

Wait a while (2, Interesting)

Profane MuthaFucka (574406) | about 9 years ago | (#13718981)

Don't sign up for this right away. Wait a while for the bugs to get worked out, and for the early adopters to get robbed blind. Only when the bugs worked out should anyone who is technically literate sign up for this.

Re:Wait a while (1)

LeonGeeste (917243) | about 9 years ago | (#13718991)

If everyone did that, it would never get off the ground.

Re:Wait a while (1)

markdavis (642305) | about 9 years ago | (#13719107)

Anyone technically literate, as you put it, would never voluntarily give their fingerprints to any government or business. Regardless of how "secure" they say it is, it WILL be obtained and used to make you a suspect in any crime or suspected crime where you have touched anything nearby. It *will* be used to obtain your identity without your consent in all kinds of creative ways.

Re:Wait a while (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719319)

it won't work for about 1 in 250 people. []

Re:Wait a while (1)

KillShill (877105) | about 9 years ago | (#13719389)

yeah don't sign up right away.

wait a while, like say 50 years or so.

let the bugs be worked out.

unclean unclean (2, Funny)

timmarhy (659436) | about 9 years ago | (#13718984)

some dirty sod will sitck their finger up their own arse then use it no doubt.

Re:unclean unclean (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719050)

I swipe my credit card down my ass crack every night before I go to sleep.

Wow (1)

Crixus (97721) | about 9 years ago | (#13718985)

Is there anyone here who would actually USE this?

Re:Wow (3, Funny)

13bPower (869223) | about 9 years ago | (#13719064)

hey buddy, thumb a hundred bucks to help save the clock tower?

Re:Wow (1)

slashname3 (739398) | about 9 years ago | (#13719071)

Heck, I don't even use ATM machines!

Re:Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719094)

My guess is no - you need money to be part of the system, to pay at Piggly Wiggly, and most slashdotters are unemployed and live with their mothers.

Wash my hands (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719006)

You mean I have to wash my hands now before I can pay after my dinner at a restaurant. Well it will save my shirt.

COOL (1)

Foktip (736679) | about 9 years ago | (#13719016)

so... all i have to do to pay, is give them the finger!

How do I... (0, Offtopic)

slashname3 (739398) | about 9 years ago | (#13719018)

How do I get the tin foil hats to stay on my fingers now?

And I have this neat idea for a glove that captures finger prints when you shake peoples hands...wonder if I should patent that idea?

Now I just need to figure out how to setup a meeting with Bill Gates and shake his hand....


Thanks for the fingerprint! (2, Interesting)

game kid (805301) | about 9 years ago | (#13719091)

Thanks for giving me your fingerprint.

Well, you had to, to give us your 2 cents...

I'd be OK with the whole idea if it would never be made mandatory for payments...

Copy-proof? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719020)

One wonders how secure this is after seeing how relatively simple [] it is to create a fingerprint mold from nothing more than a residual fingerprint.

The information in credit card magnetic strips can be copied, but the person copying the credit card must at least have physical access (even if only temporarily) to the card in order to make a copy. Using fingerprints, however, is like writing down your PIN on everything you've touched...

MOD PARENT UP! (5, Insightful)

Spy der Mann (805235) | about 9 years ago | (#13719046)

Seriously - have you guys thought how many FSCKING FINGERPRINTS are there in the streets? Any glass, seat, trash can, paper, door handle, glass, clothes, suitcases...

sheesh! With credit cards at least someone had to steal it first! But now it only takes some scotch tape to do the job. What are those morons thinking?

Re:MOD PARENT UP! (3, Insightful)

game kid (805301) | about 9 years ago | (#13719078)

Add me to the Mod Parent Up® petition. Thoughtful of both of you (parent and GP).

More and more it feels like a shortcut for corporations to find targets for what I call PPA1.

1 Professional Personal Annoyance, or "targeted advertising"


panoplos (584853) | about 9 years ago | (#13719431)

What most people do not understand here is that fingerprint biometric companies are working hard at creating methods of inhibiting entry with anything but live human skin: known as anti-spoofing.

Coupling this with subcutaneous sensor technologies that image the live (saline) layer of the skin, spoofing the fingerprint biometric system becomes prohibitively nontrivial. (Read: the techniques needed to to crack the system are only known to the developers of the system, as the anti-spoof technology itself is highly secretive.).

No way (5, Insightful)

evil agent (918566) | about 9 years ago | (#13719031)

This can't possibly catch on, can it? I mean why would you entrust your confidentiality to something as insecure as a fingerprint? You leave it everywhere you go! Imagine that everytime you leave a room, you leave behind a piece of paper with your credit card number written on it.

Re:No way (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | about 9 years ago | (#13719264)

It would be motivation to wear leather gloves everywhere.

Gives new meaning to doing business by a hand shak (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719055)

Well, I am not in favor of such devices. piggly wiggyl is getting this ? What is wrong with this picture ? For those of you who have never seen a Piggly wiggly it is a lowend grocery store. I would think Walmart would be the first with this. ( Walmart already pushes for RFD ). Well I guess that money is driving the thing but before long money won't be worth anything ( the dollar ) and so better buy some gold. I think we should go back to specie with silver and gold coins as the currency, this is at least worth something and is more accountable. Besides I hear from a woman I used to date ( her parents own 5 banks in ohio ) that the banks in ohio have 65% plus counterfit money and that they can not tell the difference between the real and counterfit money. No wonder so many people from up north can afford to buy homes in the south.

Can't use a dead man's finger (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719063)

A rectal thermometer insures a live body is used during all transactions.

For extra security... (3, Informative)

Errandboy of Doom (917941) | about 9 years ago | (#13719076)

...change your fingerprint every 6 weeks:
How To Fake Fingerprints []

Re:For extra security... (1)

brsmith4 (567390) | about 9 years ago | (#13719192)

Informative? I wasn't aware of fingerprints changing over time. However, if the parent was trying to imply that unlike passwords which can be changed, fingerprints cannot, then I would wager that his comment lies closer to 'Insightful'. Of course, the parent could have also been attemping to be humorous, which in that case, I apologize for killing the joke >:-/

the best part for purse snatchers/pickpockets (1)

artifex2004 (766107) | about 9 years ago | (#13719093)

Unless everyone starts wearing gloves, they'll be leaving their fingerprints on their wallets.
Well, at least the leather ones. And if not there, then on their credit cards, inside.
So now, the thieves just have to be extra light-fingered, so to speak, and then they can go back to their lair, turning the goods over to their boss, who has some tape ready...

Good news is, at least Oliver will eat more regularly, since Fagin probably won't have to worry about PINs any more.

Retinal Scanner (4, Insightful)

Dan East (318230) | about 9 years ago | (#13719120)

Considering the patent is about to expire on retinal scanning, they ought to wait a few more months and utilize that type of biometric. It is much harder to forge, more accurate, and does not require physical contact (which spreads germs).

Dan East

Re:Retinal Scanner (1)

Ironsides (739422) | about 9 years ago | (#13719398)

Considering the patent is about to expire on retinal scanning, they ought to wait a few more months and utilize that type of biometric. It is much harder to forge, more accurate, and does not require physical contact (which spreads germs).

There is one basic problem with biometrics. If it is transmited, it can be intercepted. All I need to be able to do is copy the digital transmision of the retinal patern as it leaves the scanner (as in the physical scanner, not the "ATM" device) and play it back whenever I want to act as someone. Once one machine is compromised, it can be used however I like.

Current ATMs already suffer from this problem, but at least I can get a new credit card issued. How am I supposed to reasonably get new retinal patterns or fingerprints issued?

Think about it 'with credit finger' (1)

LIQID (841500) | about 9 years ago | (#13719135)

Actually i don't know that it would be that much easier for you to purchase items fraudulently with a skin swipe versus a card. The hell would you do if someone came up to pay with a severed finger or a peculiar latex glove on the credit finger. I think it might be a little easier to pass with a credit card, especially since no one checks to see id. I think if they are getting hundreds of millions of dollars to piss all over R&D I think something somewhat knowledgable can come from it. That is unless google hires out all their talented people and then starts indexing finger print files.

Just one more token... (2, Insightful)

necro81 (917438) | about 9 years ago | (#13719139)

I am not a crypto or security expert, but I gather most experts agree that the more pieces of information you need to provide to be authenticated, the better. For instance, the combination of a personal password with some certificate/token on a USB key is (theoretically) better than either acting alone. Many of the comments in this thread make the point that fingreprints are pretty easily lifted and forged. So, perhaps it is not of much use, from a security standpoint, as a stand-alone authenticator. If, however, it was combined with another token, like the credit/debit card itself, then it could serve in place of the customer's written signature or PIN. That would require a perpetrator to have, at least for a little while, physical access to the card, as well as a print, before going out and defrauding the customer. Using a fingerprint would probably be a little better than using a written signature, which no one ever checks anyway, can also be forged, and could easily be lifted from a number of public documents (or, for that matter, the card itself).

Anyone think this idea, of combining fingerprints with a physical token, have any merit? Naturally this system could still be forged or broken, but would it be more or less hard to break than the current system of cards and signature/PINs? I think we all have to recognize that, if a perpetrator specifically targets you, it won't be too difficult for them to nail you, but what about more casual and random defrauders?

Re:Just one more token... (1)

Merovign (557032) | about 9 years ago | (#13719196)

So to buy something, you have to swipe your card, have your thumb scanned, look into the retinal scanner, provide saliva, stool, and urine samples. To get your Dove bar and Chocolate Milk.


The more complicated these systems become, the less retailers will want to deal with it. I mean, Discover can't be the first one to do this or no one will take Discover anymore.

Re:Just one more token... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719288)

What about a common touch pad for finger print authentication as a vector for disease transmission? Isn't this a bad idea?

Re:Just one more token... (1)

Bhodi (8956) | about 9 years ago | (#13719380)

Something you know, something you have, something you ... are?

Re:Just one more token... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719454)

All I want is a credit card that requires a password to use. Not a fucking 4 digit PIN, but a genuine 12 character garbage password. For cards with multiple holders, there should be a separate password for each holder. It would be nice if cashiers actually checked ID also.

HEY PAY BY TOUCH, read this finger! (2, Funny)

phiberhack (717324) | about 9 years ago | (#13719149)


Oblig. Back to the Future (3, Funny)

roughapprox (887427) | about 9 years ago | (#13719154)

Hey kid, thumb a hundred bucks will ya, help save the clocktower.

Brilliant! (1)

Neuropol (665537) | about 9 years ago | (#13719168)

Perhaps they can implement it just in time for the spreading of Bird Flu ...

Pull my Finger, that will be 10$ + gratuity (1)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | about 9 years ago | (#13719175)

Ok, so i had another joke too...

The road to Hell (1)

zerocircle (559005) | about 9 years ago | (#13719194)

Oh jeez, I read that as "Fingerprint Pavement System."

Oh good lord... (1)

CupBeEmpty (720791) | about 9 years ago | (#13719226)

So now it will be easier for me to make impulse buys which I certainly can do without (I don't have a nano yet and that is mostly due to the fact that the Apple store is a few miles uptown)


Now getting mugged on the way home from work will involve permanent dismemberment... great. Maybe they could make something like those anti-mugging belt wallets for when you visit countries with high crime. It would basically keep your hands in your pants all the time to make them unavailable to theives. I am patenting that.

Gives new meaning... (0, Redundant)

kahanamoku (470295) | about 9 years ago | (#13719228)

to thumbing a ride (hitch-hiking)

also, if you weren't happy with the service, do you pay with your middle finger?

Insufficient Funds (4, Funny)

mixmasterjake (745969) | about 9 years ago | (#13719238)

I'm sorry sir, your finger was declined. It says here that we're supposed to cut it up...

is it just me... (0, Flamebait)

krunk4ever (856261) | about 9 years ago | (#13719243)

or did anyone else read the topic as:
Fingerprint Payment System Gets Fingering

i need new glasses.

after work (1)

Synth3t1c (881734) | about 9 years ago | (#13719272)

after work, my hands can be dirty as hell.. i hope that wont effect it

How about a cheap cellphone wallet? (0, Offtopic)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | about 9 years ago | (#13719295)

I lost my wallet. I'd like to be able to call it and hear it ring so I could find it, or talk to the person who found it. Of course this idea isn't for serious.

Fingerprint Theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 years ago | (#13719326)

What happens when your fingerprints are stolen. How will you ever prove that it wasnt you that made said transactions? Its not like you can just change your prints. Then any further system that requires your prints will again be under the same potential attack.

I can see institutions then refusing to deal with you because your a liablity or you get stuck with high fees and charges because your a high risk customer.

I say no to biometrics!

Not Very Hard To Make More Secure (1)

Dawizman (775405) | about 9 years ago | (#13719334)

This technology could be easily paired up with some sort of pass-code (Like the PIN number you use with a debit card), and it would be even more secure. Sure, it may be easy to dupe a fingerprint, but with the added pass-code, it would be much harder to fraudulantly use.

Personally, I would never trust my financial assets on a finger-print alone. I think the only bio-metric device I would trust alone without some additional form of security is a retinal scanner.

What about amputees? (1)

sturat (139743) | about 9 years ago | (#13719432)

As someone with no fingers I find this to be a very digitist concept.

*puts socks and shoes back on, gets coat*

Not just a finger scan a pin code is also required (1)

pg133 (307365) | about 9 years ago | (#13719467)

If you view the flash demo [] on the paybytouch [] website, you will discover that the system only makes the need to carry the actual (plastic) credit card redundant. You will still need a checking account or credit card account to charge the purchase. In the demo you can see that you are give a choice on how you wish to pay, presumably from your payment choices given when you first registered for the system. You will also notice in the demo you are also required to enter a PIN number.

More information can be found here []

Photo id also required? (1)

56kowboy (920406) | about 9 years ago | (#13719481)

What if when you use your fingerprint a photo of you also pops up and to complete the sale the cashier would have to verify that the photo matches you?

Well it will stop (1)

CsiDano (807071) | about 9 years ago | (#13719483)

stupid people from giving out their information to phishers. Really who would be so dumb as to scan their finger and send a copy in reply to an email? You would have to be....ahem pretty um dumb. Nevermind.
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