JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JAMES KING-HOLMES / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Payment methods. Chip and PIN machine (left) and a fingerprint scanner, which can both be used to pay for supermarket purchases. The chip and PIN machine uses a debit or credit card to take payment. The customer types their personal identification number (PIN) into the keypad to authorise the transaction. This method is more secure than simply signing for a purchase. The fingerprint scanner is a biometric payment system developed by the Californian company Pay By Touch and (as of March 2006) is in use in a small number of supermarkets in Oxford, UK. The scanner is linked to a database that holds an individual's bank account and loyalty card details, as well as their fingerprint. At the check-out the customer simply scans their finger and payment is taken directly from their account.
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