All Piggly Wiggly grocery shoppers in South Carolina and Southeast Georgia will soon be able to pay for their groceries with the touch of a finger. Pay By Touch, which is free to consumers, is a new payment service that allows shoppers to pay for purchases or cash checks using a finger scan linked to their financial accounts and loyalty programs. After a positive consumer response to the new technology, Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. is launching Pay By Touch company-wide to all of its corporate-owned grocery stores by May 2005.
Since July 2004, Piggly Wiggly customers in four South Carolina grocery stores have been using Pay By Touch to purchase groceries using a finger scan linked to their financial accounts. Customer research revealed that 50 percent of Piggly Wiggly’s Pay By Touch users are driven by the convenience of not having to present cards, checks, or their PFC/Greenbax rewards cards at the point of sale. And, when asked how Piggly Wiggly could improve its Pay By
Touch offering, users wanted to see Pay By Touch in more stores.
Pay By Touch presented Piggly Wiggly shoppers with an Express Checking (ACH), a new type of transaction that was introduced during the pilot. Express Checking is a direct electronic withdrawal from shoppers’ bank accounts. Express Checking is convenient for shoppers, and helps Piggly Wiggly reduce costs associated with transaction fees. Express Checking will be the featured way to pay during the company-wide rollout.
“We’re thrilled about the success Piggly Wiggly has had with Pay By Touch,” said John Rogers, co-founder, chairman, and CEO of Pay By Touch. “We believe 2005 will be a big year for consumer biometric payments across the country, and Piggly Wiggly is leading the movement toward a new way for shoppers to pay. The impressive customer adoption rates we’ve seen already will continue to increase as we add more and more retailers to our network.”
The one-time Pay By Touch enrollment is simple and takes just a couple of minutes. Shoppers can begin the enrollment process online at http://www.paybytouch.com, or they can do it in-store. Once enrolled–no matter what store or part of the country they are in–customers simply scan their finger and select a preferred payment method every time they pay. Pay By Touch can be found in stores across the country.
Through its partnership with IBM, Pay By Touch guarantees that customers’ electronic wallets and financial accounts are stored in highly secure IBM data centers. The partnership also played a part in Piggly Wiggly’s selection of IBM as its provider of choice for implementing Pay By Touch in all of its grocery store locations.
The Pay By Touch finger scanning technology does not store actual fingerprints; instead, it creates a set of 40 data points that cannot be reverse engineered into a fingerprint. The data points are then encrypted and converted into a mathematical equation that allows for a secure identity match at retail point of sale.
In addition to implementing Pay By Touch in Piggly Wiggly stores throughout the country, Pay By Touch is planning additional rollouts in other national retail chains later this year.