Cub Foods goes Biometric?

I was doing laundry today and ran next door to Cub Foods to buy a little snackie treat. By the register, they had a bright green sign touting Pay By Touch. I came home and looked it up and, sure enough, Cub has gone all sorts of high-tech…

Imagine this. At checkout, you place your finger on a small scanner. Instantly, you see a list of your payment accounts on a screen. You select one of them using a familiar keypad, approve the amount of the purchase, rewards points or discounts are automatically applied, and you’re done. No cards, checks, cash — or hassle.

Just like Gattaca. Say hello to the slightly Orwellian future of food shopping.

6 Comments so far

  1. paranoid (unregistered) on January 8th, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

    This is creepy. No thanks on this one. To err is human. HR screwup

  2. nikkos (unregistered) on January 9th, 2006 @ 8:33 am

    I predict crimes in which the victim’s finger is lopped off for its rich, biometric data will skyrocket in 06!

  3. steven (unregistered) on January 9th, 2006 @ 11:13 am

    Nikkos, funny you should say that, one of my co-workers thinks the exact same thing. Though he thinks the whole hand will be chopped off instead.

    I’m not sure if I trust Cub Foods to use all of my data.

    Btw, Lauren, what was your snackie treat of choice? You can’t deny us this important piece of the story…

  4. Lauren (unregistered) on January 9th, 2006 @ 11:22 am

    Silly me, leaving that out!

    Chex Mix trail mix and a can of coke.

  5. JBF being sarcastic (unregistered) on January 12th, 2006 @ 9:36 am

    People: Here’s an idea.

    Take 1000 blank pieces of paper, write your name, address, city, state, zip code and then (optional) put your Driver’s License Number on it. Then write down your bank routing number and your bank account number on it. When you’re done doing this, hand these 1000 pieces of you, over the course of a year, to 1000 people you don’t know. You might want to sign it so they can copy your signature too. Creepy thought isn’t it? Just checking.

    Now…to address Cub’s biometric system. You have over 1000 data points on your finger. Pay by Touch uses 40. That means, if someone tries to steal your data they’re 960 data points short of a picnic basket.

    Oh, and for you finger cutter offers…please, do some friggin research before you spout such ridiculous notions as fact. A cut off finger wouldn’t work because: 1. It doesn’t have a pulse 2. It isn’t 98.6 degrees, and 3. The Cub food cashier might think it weird if you lop a hand or finger out of your purse to pay for $100 worth of groceries.

    So the moral of the story is to never write checks, then again, with Cell Phone Camera’s and Adobe Photoshop, I don’t know if I’d be a proponet of using your Credit or Debit card either…especially since all anyone needs is your number to shop on the internet. (Last time I checked, you didn’t have to sign for Internet Purchases)

    My point? If you’re worried about invasive payment methods, then cash is you’re only alternative. (oh…I forgot, the robber could steal your fingerprint off your $100 bill and sign up for Pay by Touch and clean you out.)

  6. Who is JBF (unregistered) on February 11th, 2006 @ 10:34 am


    You seem very partial to pay by touch. Why don’t you just tell everybody that you’re associated with PBT? It might add to your credibility.

    I think the above are valid concerns that your firm could address in a more professional manner, don’t you?

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