German supermarket chain uses fingerprint ID for payment

Sunday, March 13, 2005

The future of grocery shopping has changed in the Palatinate region of Germany. Last November, the Edeka supermarket chain offered in one of its Rülzheim stores fingerprint identification as method of payment. Customers can have their fingerprint put on file and begin using the system as an alternative to cash or card. Customers then place their finger on the scanner to complete a purchase.

The supermarket owner Roland Fitterer claims the system shaves 40 seconds off checkout time and plans to introduce it into his other 5 stores.

Internet and biometrics services provider, it-Werke, is the technology company behind the effort. The supermarket is their third client to adopt what it-Werke calls its digiPROOF technology.

There was sufficient interest among store customers that 100 registered to use the system. The chances are one in 220 million that two people have the same fingerprint.