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Discover Financial Services Inc. employees will be able to pay by finger at their Riverwoods headquarters' cafeteria and convenience stores as they become the first to test a new payment system.
Discover, which is working with French biometrics firm Natural Security on the project and which plans to get the pilot underway in the next three months, has previously used hundreds of its employees to test new technologies including various "contactless" payments, in which credit cards are simply tap. It plans to test the fingerprint payment system with 300 to 350 employees.
The credit-card company's test comes a few years after U.S. grocer Jewel abandoned its program with Pay by Touch, which got about $300 million in debt and equity financing from investors.
In 2006, Pay by Touch said about 10,000 Chicagoans had signed up for its fingerprint-payment program. A year later, some creditors tried forcing the owner of Pay by Touch into involuntary bankruptcy as its finances went into disarray. By 2008, the Pay by Touch machines were removed from Jewel stores.