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CMU Seniors Develop Pay-By-Finger Technology

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

(Photo Credit: KDKA)

Jon Delano Jon Delano
Jon Delano is a familiar face on KDKA-TV, having been the station's...
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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Paying by cash is so 20th century and soon-to-follow may be swiping those credit cards, according to four Carnegie Mellon University seniors who have developed a new way of making purchases called Paytango.

“Paytango allows you to link your student ID card to your fingerprints. You don’t have to worry about hassling with your ID card, getting out your wallet, even forgetting it — allows you to buy meals on campus using your fingerprints,” co-founder Christian Reyes said.

It’s very experimental and is used only at a couple of CMU campus restaurants at the moment. However, the idea is based on biometrics, which is linking unique human body parts in this case, fingers to personal credit accounts.

Think of the possibilities.

It really may not be far off when we all get rid of our credit cards and even cash and go shopping and pay our bills with our fingers.

Reyes and Kelly Lau-Kee are co-founders who envision a future where you can leave cards and cash at home.

“That’s the ultimate goal. Future plans are to explore credit cards, explore different forms of biometrics, improve on the design, and make the system more robust,” Lau-Kee said.

A few worry about security.

“Something about using my fingerprint and putting it somewhere just freaks me out a little bit,” Alex Kingsley said.

But, it’s popular with many students.

“I do like it. It’s convenient,” Emma Binns said.

“The fact that you have to carry a card is kind of silly,” Todd Medema said.

Cashier Cathy Angelo said it’s easier for store clerks, too.

“It’s very easy. I like it better than the card going back and forth,” Angelo said.

Paytango’s founders hope the day is coming when paying-by-fingers becomes the norm.

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