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Bye-Bye Pay By Touch!


I’ve always been concerned about biometric systems for payment. I don’t want my fingerprint to be able to access my bank account: I leave fingerprints all over the place. I’m glad to see that biometrics pioneer Pay-By-Touch is shifting focus:

Pay By Touch, which has made a major push in POS biometric payments, is backing off that business, according to a report in the current issue of The Nilson Report, a major payments newsletter.

Tip of the hat to StoreFrontBackTalk, “Pay By Touch Giving Up On Biometric POS?” [link to no longer works]

A quick clarification: “POS” is industry-speak for “Point of Sale,” not “Piece of Shit.” We apologize for any confusion.

[Update: Evan now relays the news that “Pay By Touch (is) In Bankruptcy Proceeding(s).” [link to no longer works]

Photo: Escaped Monkey‘s password, posted to Flickr.

2 comments on "Bye-Bye Pay By Touch!"

  • Roger says:

    Loved the POS clarification. I agree with you: fingerprints, or as the bio-metric guys are quick to point out, digital representations thereof, are pretty scary as transaction authenticators. It maybe difficult to “forge” my fingerprint, but if someone does, I am forever screwed.
    However, there’s a real piece of corporate intrigue to the PBT story that I think is much more interesting.
    I remember being gob-smacked two years ago when they raised $100 million or so from a hedge fund when they had no revenues to speak of. I remember being further amazed when they purchased the skeleton of Card Systems after its infamous breach. I was less surprised when it bought its major competitor.
    A year ago I was listening to an analyst (Gartner I think) speak, and he said that the onset of contactless cards had significantly impacted the interest of merchants in biometrics.
    It would appear that is so as recently the Chairman abruptly fired the CEO and COO; as a result, the hedge fund has filed suit to take control of the Board saying the company has incurred substantial losses, not achieved significant revenues and is now leaderless. Furthermore 4 employees/contractors (including a relative of the Chairman) are petitioning the company into bankruptcy over unpaid wages of only $60,000, with some observers suggesting this a move to pre-empt the hedge fund. Lastly, the Chairman has filed for personal bankruptcy.
    It a real mess and has unravelled very quickly. It almost makes one wonder if, like the victim of a forged fingerprint, biometric payments are forever screwed…

  • Chris says:

    I wonder what would happen to the digitized prints if there is a sell-off of assets to meet debts?

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