Pay By Touch Shuts Down All Biometric Services

Solidus Networks, Inc., which operates as Pay By Touch, said that it will no longer process biometric transactions on behalf of its merchant customers and consumer membership base. The move was effective March 20, the company announced in a statement on Friday.

On December 14, 2007, Solidus Networks filed for U.S. bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11. As part of the company’s restructuring, it was determined that the enterprise "could no longer support the biometric authentication and payment system as it currently exists, based on lack of funding and current market conditions," the company said.

Other non-biometric Solidus Networks business units continue on their current business paths.

Solidus Networks said it "extends its sincere gratitude to the shoppers, merchants, vendors, investors, partners, and employees who have been supporting the company’s vision" since its first biometric payment transaction in 2002.

In November, Convenience Store Decisions reported that Pay by Touch founder and CEO John Rogers was forced into personal bankruptcy stemming from several court battles on the East and West coasts that included an involuntary bankruptcy petition filed against the company by three employees.

Further fanning the flames, an investment firm claimed the employees’ bankruptcy petition is a move by Rogers’ supporters to help him keep control of the five-year-old San Francisco-based firm.

The fingerprint scanning company, once regarded as a promising young retail technology firm, still faces claims from four employees who say they are owed at least $60,000 in back wages. The employees filed a petition for involuntary bankruptcy against Solidus Networks on Oct. 31, the same day Rogers filed for Chapter 11 protection, according to the report. Rogers and the company also face two recent lawsuits from former executives and allegations from a major investor that Rogers improperly fired independent board members.

Among the convenience retailers using Pay by Touch’s services are Shell Oil, which, In October 2007, became the first gasoline retailer in the world to adopt Pay by Touch’s biometric payment technology at its pumps and inside c-stores to add more convenience and security to customer transactions. Supermarket operators affected by the company’s shut down include Jewel-Osco, Cub Foods, Supervalu and Albertsons.

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