Use your finger to pay for shopping

French bank announces six-month trial into biometric payment system which aims to reduce fraud and speed up shopping

25 April 2010

SHOPPERS in France could soon be able to use their finger to pay for everyday shopping, in a move that aims to tackle fraud and speed up supermarket queues.

High-street bank Accord has been given permission by the French data protection authorities to start a six-month trial into the new biometric payment system.

The idea had been rejected by the Commission Nationale Informatique et Liberté on several occasions in the past because of fears that storing fingerprint data posed a privacy and security risk.

However the new system developed by Accord records the unique pattern of veins underneath a person's index finger - not the fingerprint itself.

The bank - which is owned by Auchan - will offer the service to a number of its current account customers and biometric readers will be installed in a number of its hypermarkets.

Customers begin by registering their finger data securely with their bank.

Touching the finger scanner at the checkout confirms the buyer's identity and the amount is then debited from their account.

The system is already proving popular in Germany, where supermarket chain Edeka has been using it since 2007.

Graeme Dawes - Fotolia.com

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