Retailers worried about losing credit cards may soon have nothing to fear. A new invention called PayTango will allow purchases to be made with just the swipe of a finger.
Seem too good to be true? Well, it may soon become a reality in a store near you thanks to four college students from Carnegie Mellon University.
Co-founder Brian Groudan said the idea began with him and his three peers wanting to "consolidate all of the cards in your wallet."
"You carry around these slabs of plastic everyday," said Groudan. "The idea sort of evolved into 'hey, why do you need those cards at all?'" The foursome then built the prototype in 48 hours at a hackathon event and PayTango was born.
PayTango is a fingerprint-based identification and payment system. Signing up begins by scanning an index and middle finger, swiping your card through the reader to associate it with your fingerprint, and then punching in your phone number to finalize your account (the phone number is gathered in case you need to be contacted).
Once registered, wallets won't be needed. Shoppers can make any purchases with their fingerprints.
The team initially tested it in their CMU cafeteria with 100 students. Now, the service expanded to three dining locations on the campus. Groudan says their current focus in the next few months are college campuses but insists that's only the beginning, adding that the possibilities are "endless".
"I think the applications extend way beyond that," Groudan said. "Once you have the profile, think about transportation...not having to fumble with the coins. To pay for parking, you just touch the meter, or when you're at the hospital and pull up your medical records."