Discover, the same payment network that is extending PayPal's push at the point of sale, is planning on giving its employees the ability to pay by touch in its cafeteria, with the aid of a key fob and a special fingerprint reader.
From the Chicago Tribune:
"Discover Financial Services Inc. employees will be able to pay by finger at their Riverwoods headquarters' cafeteria and convenience stores as they become the first to test a new payment system.
Discover, which is working with French biometrics firm Natural Security on the project and which plans to get the pilot underway in the next three months, has previously used hundreds of its employees to test new technologies including various "contactless" payments, in which credit cards are simply tapped. It plans to test the fingerprint payment system with 300 to 350 employees."
This latest trial is unlike Discover's past biometric efforts, such as its partnership with now-defunct Biometric payment company Pay by Touch, which relied on storing a user's fingerprint on a central database.Troy Bernard, Discover's global head of emerging payments, said that eventually slowed down the speed at which those transactions were processed.
Natural Security stores a user's payment information on a fob key which a user keeps on a keychain or in a purse. The device also stores that person's fingerprint. So when a consumer is making a payment, the fingerprint acts as a form of authentication.
"My team's job is to look at a number of emerging payments technologies that are out there, and not all of them will go forward," says Bernard, in an interview with Bank Technology News. "But this could help with online banking, internet payments, internet purchasing, things like that."