Wednesday, March 14, 2007

PayByTouch introduces kiosks to bring web-style analytics into retail

PayByTouch has been using sophisticated biometric systems for payment acceptance for a while now, having installed their fingerprint readers in thousands of retail stores across the US. But up until now, their offerings were limited to fairly vanilla payment acceptance and loyalty program integration.

However, according to this article in Internet Retailer (and backed up by the original press release from PayByTouch), the system is already impacting 50% of store revenue in its installed locations, and has had offer redemption rates in excess of 20% (which is insanely high, even for "easy" card-based loyalty programs). Apparently, shoppers who have enrolled in SmartShop have also increased their visits by 10% over past years, which is also a critical metric for highly competitive grocery chains who are increasingly feeling competition from drug stores like Walgreens and convenience stores like 7-11 for quick "top up" shopping trips for a few items. PayByTouch's research into the system's performance also indicated a 5.1% increase in revenue growth average, 6.1% increase in consumer spending versus stores not equipped with the kiosk.

Granted those results were taken from a single trial grocer for a single month in 2006, so there's no telling how accurate they really are, however numerous in-store loyalty kiosk systems have been shown effective and well-received by customers, so I wouldn't be surprised to see the same reaction and results for this one.

While it's still going to take a bit of time for me to get used to the idea of using my fingerprint to get coupons, this kind of technology is becoming increasingly more common, so I expect that adoption rates will climb quickly if biometrics are shown to significantly improve loyalty program performance.

Tags: PayByTouch, SmartShop, interactive kiosks, loyalty programs

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