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Thursday, July 21, 2005

Retail Pioneer Tries out New Technology

(Via eWeek) The Piggy Wiggly Carolina Co. chain of grocery stores is aong the first to open a supermarket – more than hundred years ago. Even now, Piggly Wiggly continues to seek ways not only to make shopping more convenient but also to find more customers. When Piggly Wiggly discovered that fingerprint-reading technology, after decades of development,had become cheap and reliable enough to be deployed on a broad scale, it recognized benefits beyond speed and efficiency and looked at it as the way to capture information about your customers while easing concerns about identity theft than with a payment process that lets shoppers seal transactions with their fingerprints.
While improving the shopping experience had been a long-standing goal of the company, the escalating cost of credit and debit card transactions has in recent years become a more pressing concern. Piggly Wiggly launched a pilot program to test Pay By Touch in a small group of stores last fall. The test run went so well it was quickly expanded to a companywide rollout. Shoppers who signed up for the new payment system were able to open accounts that linked either to credit card accounts or to checking accounts. They could link all Pay By Touch transactions to their store loyalty cards as well, so they could get credit for shopping at Piggly Wiggly without having to carry the loyalty card. Just months after Piggly Wiggly introduced the service, it is finding that between 15 and 20 percent of its noncash customers, or those who typically paid by check, credit card or debit card, now use Pay By Touch, said Postell. Among those early adopters is a surprising number of people who fall into a demographic thought to be fearful of technology- many seniors had been quick to switch to fingerprint payments, which upon reflection made sense. An excellent case study of a successful implementation of a new technology
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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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