Monday, March 24, 2008

Biometrics For The Greater Good | UPDATED

Pay By Touch at The FMI Show + Marketechnics 2007 - McCormick Place West Expansion, Chicago, Illinois. Image Credit: ecj - Symblogogy - Copyright 2007

Biometrics For The Greater Good
Pay By Touch ID Delivers Discounts, Rewards Recognition, Credit, & More

(UPDATED At Bottom)

Consumer services has become a pretty arduous process over the years.

In order for the average consumer to take advantage of the systems and processes that support loyal and local shopping, one had to scan the local paper for coupons and clip them, carry a host of store issued loyalty verification instruments (key fobs, cards, “speedpass” RFID tags, & etc.), then get out and shop … Oh! … and don’t forget the wallet.

Wouldn’t it be nice to be recognized as if all of the stores knew every shopper by name, you know ... as if one were living in an idealized small town in “RFD” America?

One would leave the house with a list of things to buy and that’s it! No coupons and the time invested to collect them, no store cards through which one qualifies for an additional discount off of the purchase, and no wallet to carry cash and credit card by which to pay for the items one needed.

This world view scenario is available here and now and it is a world envisioned by Pay By Touch that utilizes fingerprint biometrics for the greater good!

SmartShop Express station aids in converting customers to the benefits of the Pay By Touch process. Image Credit: ecj - Symblogogy - Copyright 2007

Excerpts from the Pay By Touch website and press releases –

Pay By Touch ID Delivers Discounts, Rewards Recognition, Credit, & More
Compiled & Edited by Symblogogy

Pay By Touch is the leading biometric authentication network for loyalty and payments, and the only company that integrates biometric authentication, payments, personalized marketing, and payment processing. The company's mission is to liberate consumers through biometrics and beyond by providing the most secure, convenient, and cost-effective electronic transaction solutions available.

Pay By Touch is a free service that allows you to pay for purchases and access loyalty discounts simply by placing your finger on a sensor when you check out. Your finger links you, and only you, to your accounts – completely eliminating the need to carry cards, checks or cash.

it's safe
Your finger is unique to you, which means only you can access your financial accounts. The Pay By Touch service helps protect you from physical or identity theft. Because there’s nothing to carry, there’s nothing to be lost or stolen.

it's fast and easy
Enroll once and use it anywhere! No writing checks. No cards to swipe. No fumbling with cash. No need to show your ID.

it's private
Because you don’t have to present your cards, check or ID when you pay, no one can see your account information. Your information is securely stored and will not be sold to third parties.

it's free
The Pay By Touch service is always free and there are no hidden fees.

... automatic rewards
Free yourself from all those rewards cards and keyfobs. Your savings and rewards are automatically applied when you check out.

Pay By Touch SmartShop Express In-Store Coupon Claiming Demo - Video Credit: ecj - Symblogogy - Copyright 2007

SmartShop™ Service Alliance Announcement Press Release -

Biometric Pioneer’s Personalized Marketing Service Delivers the Right Offer to the Right Shopper at the Right Time
Shop n’ Save, Foodtown and Leading Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturers are Among Early Adopters


To facilitate rapid consumer adoption and give merchants maximum flexibility, Pay By Touch has added a card-based option to its biometric SmartShop™ service. SmartShop, powered by Pay By Touch, gives shoppers customized offers on the products they buy most when they enter the store – before they shop.

Pay By Touch, the leader in biometric payment and personalized marketing, is offering card-based SmartShop in addition to the biometric SmartShop service, which launched at NRF in January, 2007. SmartShop provides merchants and consumer packaged goods companies (CPGs) with an unprecedented return on investment (ROI) by enabling them to deliver the right offer to the right shopper at the right time – both in-store and online.

John Costello, President, Consumer and Retail - "At Pay By Touch, we understand that each retailer is unique. Card-based SmartShop enables merchants to immediately engage their best shoppers by letting them use their existing loyalty cards to get personalized offers,” said John Rogers, Founder, Chairman and CEO, Pay By Touch. “SmartShop offers unparalleled, automated targeting based on preferences in each particular store. There is no better way for merchants and manufacturers to reach their targets." - Image Credit: ecj - Symblogogy - Copyright 2007

Research shows that 70 percent of buying decisions are made in-store, and that less than one percent of grocery store coupons are ever redeemed . As a result, millions of marketing dollars are wasted every year. SmartShop turns every shopper into a uniquely qualified marketing lead and delivers value to consumers, merchants and manufacturers alike.

SmartShop enhances retailers’ existing loyalty programs by delivering added value to their most important customers. It also provides a robust loyalty solution for retailers who do not yet have a program in place. Best of all, SmartShop ‘learns’ from each shopping trip to generate the next set of relevant rewards.
Card-based SmartShop has been implemented by Shop ‘n Save stores in the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area, as well as Foodtown stores in New York and New Jersey. These merchants will migrate to biometric SmartShop, and adopt Pay By Touch’s biometric payment solution, to let shoppers identify themselves, pay for purchases and redeem rewards with the simple touch of a finger.

“We are extremely pleased with the SmartShop service, which is branded ‘Shop ‘n Save Personalized Perks’ in three of our Pittsburgh-area stores,” said Greg Hartley, Owner of three Shop 'n Save locations. “The service is a huge hit with our shoppers, with kiosks in each store receiving more than 300 visits a day. We are excited to continue using the program and we are looking forward to seeing the kiosk in other Shop 'n Save stores."

Early results reveal the value of the SmartShop service. These merchants can experience:

•Twenty to 50 percent shopper adoption of SmartShop

•Eight to 12 percent sales lift among customers using SmartShop

•A 25 to 30 percent reduction in advertising and direct mail printing and distribution costs

SC Johnson Among Early CPG Adopters

Already, several leading CPGs have joined the program, including SC Johnson and more. These companies are leveraging the SmartShop platform to deliver personalized, highly relevant coupons and deepen their relationships with consumers. With SmartShop, CPGs can experience:
•Twenty percent+ sales lift

•Four to five times greater redemption rates than traditional FSIs

•Twenty to 50 percent reduction in marketing costs per unit sold at retail

•A significant reduction in handling costs

How SmartShop Works:

1.) When shoppers enter the store, they simply scan their loyalty card at the SmartShop kiosk to get personalized offers based on their purchase history.

2.) Shoppers receive an 8 ½ x 11 print-out with 16 customized offers on the products they buy most, and then head into the aisles to shop.

3.) Shoppers scan their loyalty card at check-out to redeem their offers. They do not need to bring the print-out to check-out; no paper coupons are required.

SmartShop gives merchants customer-based metrics and accurate data that improves the efficacy of marketing efforts. It is easy to implement, with a Web-based management system for algorithmic campaign creation and real-time targeting. The service provides robust analytics to make reporting and account settlement both easy and accurate.
Reference Here>>

UPDATE - March 24, 2008

Pay By Touch Shuts Down Tranaction Processing ... Goes Out Of Business

After filing for Chapter Eleven debt restructuring in December of 2007, the hope was that Pay By Touch would be able to continue its business of biometric identification aided transaction processing for is portfolio of strong and happy clients.

Sadly, today PBT shuts down its ability to care for its customers.

This excerpted from the Progressive Grocer -

Pay By Touch Shuts Down all Biometrics
Progressive Grocer - March 24, 2008

Solidus Networks, Inc., the San Francisco-based biometric solutions company that did business as Pay By Touch, ceased processing biometric transactions on behalf of its retailer customers and consumer membership last week, a move it said was due to "lack of funding and current market conditions."

Pay By Touch's biometric payment systems were being used by dozens of retailers, including Pathmark, Piggly Wiggly, Jewel-Osco and Cub Foods. Last year it released its Smart Shop offering, first developed and piloted at independent grocer Green Hills, and then later launched at high-profile independent Dorothy Lane Markets.

On December 14, 2007, Solidus had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Solidus said as part of its planned restructuring it determined it could no longer support the biometric authentication and payment system. Other non-biometric Solidus Networks business units will continue operating, it said.

The company's move to pull the rug out from under the program came as a surprise to some, considering the successful track record it apparently with retailers.

At Dayton, Ohio-based Dorothy Lane, the Smart Shop loyalty and payment service was used in transactions totaling 24 percent of sales, just two weeks after it launched in July.
Meanwhile, Pay By Touch's Web site currently displays just one active page, with a statement from the company that reads in part: "Solidus Networks 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."

Observers commenting on a story that ran on the Web site of The Wall Street Journal about the demise Pay By Touch suggested that the business, not the technology, was the problem.

"I'm an ex-employee, and despite the eventual demise of the company, there were some interesting things learned about mainstream biometrics for the consumer," noted one online poster.

"None of the management of the company had any notion of businesses that wage world class technology competitions, as did the famous Silicon Valley successes," commented another. "The management all came from a so-called 'solution' business, where technology is secondary and services are the identity. Contrary to belief, the biometric technology was not designed in house. They really had nothing to compete with. So the company had no identity and was doomed to failure from the outset."

Reference Here>>

At Symblogogy, we believe that a biometric pay paradigm as pioneered by Pay By Touch for retail and other type of transactions is not dead ... just in delay.

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