John Lofstock, Editor
These are strange days at Duke and Duchess Shoppes (Columbus, OH) asmore and more customers at its Ohio stores are giving employees the finger.And it's not because prices are too high or lines are too long. Rather, it'sa result of the chain's installation of cutting-edge biometric technology.
Duke and Duchess, which operates more than 100 convenience stores across Ohio and West Virginia and is operated by Englefield Oil Co., has implemented BioPay's payment system with an initial launch of 10 of its stores to give customers faster checkouts and greater convenience when making a purchase.
BioPay's payment service (www.paychecksecure.com)is a lowcost alternative to debit and credit cards because it's linked directlyto users' checking account and settles using the Automated Clearing House (ACH)network, therefore avoiding the costly interchange fees attached to Visa andMasterCard
But unlike traditional transactions using plastic, BioPay requires customers enter a personal identification number requires a fingerprint for identification right at the point of sale. If the print doesn't match the PIN, the transaction is voided.
"We are providing our customers with the most secure payment method available and at the same time speeding up the checkout process for them," says Jason Collins, information technology manager for Duke and Duchess Shoppes. "With BioPay, consumer convenience is up and retailer costs are down. BioPay costs us 70% less than process credit-or debit-card transactions, and we can pass that savings along to the consumer."
How it works
Using the system is a comparatively similar process to debitand credit-cardtransactions. Once the clerk has totaled a sale, it becomes a four-step process:
- Approve Purchase Amount. Customers are asked to approve the transactionamount using the keypad at the POS terminal.
- Enter a BioPay PIN Number.
- Finger Scan. A scanner attached to the POS terminal analyzes a print ofeither index finger.
- Transaction is Approved or Denied. Once the print is matched with the PIN,funds are electronically transferred from the customer's account to the merchant.
Duke and Duchess is persuading customers to sign up for the program by offeringa free cup of coffee or soft drink at enrollment, Collins said. He hopes tohave as many as 500 customers registered by the end of January.