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CHICAGO -- Ten Shell gas stations here are testing biometric systems through Pay By Touch, allowing customers to pay for purchases with their fingerprints, The Associated Press reported.
The system links a customer's checking or credit-card account to their fingertips. Customers can scan their fingerprints at a kiosk inside the gas station to link payment information either at the store or online, the report stated.
"When we talk to customers, they're always looking for ways to make buying gasoline quicker and easier, and always looking for ways to make their transactions faster and more secure," Chris Susse, Shell's manager of global refueling innovations, told the AP. "They don't want to carry more cards, kits and keychains, and they want it to be free."
Participating pilot locations are:
-- 255 North Weber Road
-- 801 West Addison Street
-- 2455 South Street
-- 7600 West Route 30 (W Lincoln Highway)
-- 164 South Randall Road
-- 100 W Geneva
-- 19100 Lagrange Rd
-- 12810 West 143rd Street
-- 398 South Bolingbrook
-- 8401 West 159th Street
Other new technology in place at some Shell stations includes digital displays provided by Fuelcast Media International LLC at the gas pumps, allowing customers to view local news, weather and sports. The monitors by Fuelcast, which provides money for advertisements on the display, are installed at 300 Shell stations in the U.S., the AP reported.
In addition, Shell's station attendants are testing hand-held wireless devices allowing full-service customers to pay electronically at their car window, the report stated.
The technology push is an effort to build customer loyalty, stay ahead of competitors on the technological curve and gain revenue from the Fuelcast deal. Shell told the AP it is the first brand to launch a biometric system. However, its expansion depends on the customers' acceptance of the technology, the report stated.
While Shell is uncertain of the ultimate cost of the high-tech initiatives or how well the devices will be received, the pilot program is not a major expense, Susse told the AP.
"We'd like to see an increase in customer loyalty because we're the only gas retailer offering this service," Susse said.