Pay By Touch Shuts Down All Biometric Services

Just three months after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Pay By Touch officially pulled the plug on its remaining biometric transaction customers Thursday morning.

Pay By Touch (officially Solidus Networks Inc. doing business as Pay By Touch) issued a statement on Thursday that it "regretfully announced today that it will no longer process biometric transactions on behalf of its merchant customers and consumer membership base, as 11:59:59pm March 19, 2008."

Pay By Touch had been handling retail biometric purchases since 2002.

The company alluded to its Dec. 14, 2007, bankruptcy filing and related financial challenges as the reason. "As part of the company's restructuring, it was determined that the enterprise could no longer support the biometric authentication and payment system as it currently exists, based on lack of funding and current market conditions," the statement said. "Other non-biometric Solidus Networks business units continue on their current business paths."

The move wasn't a surprise, given the lack of enthusiasm in the retail community for biometric retail payments. The originally touted biometric payment advantage for retailers was all about speed of transaction, a position that has been hijacked by contactless payment vendors. Consumers themselves also expressed serious misgivings about the technology.