Who ever uses current POS systems is required to identify him or herself. You are required to enter your personal identification number (PIN) for instance or use an identification card equipped with a barcode or magnetic strip.
However, with an ever-increasing range of performance requirements for such systems and the growing awareness for the need to protect data, these simple access controls are no longer adequate. Nowadays people want to be able to track who exactly executed what specific operation.
Therefore, it is no surprise that retailers are considering biometric processes that are commonplace in other sensitive areas:
• Fingerprints: Employees are identified using thumbprints. Modern laptops use this method.
• The vein scanner appears futuristic by comparison: Employees identify themselves with the palm of their hands without the need for contact.
• Signatures on a pressure measuring display become biometric and forgery-proof information because the system stores the written image together with an invisible pressure profile.
Hardware and secure storage procedures are technically mature, however capital expenditures for such technology is often very high for businesses and as a consequence could not be rationalised internally up until now. Meanwhile, modern POS systems (e.g. act’o-cash from act’o-soft GmbH Informationssysteme) are being included in more and more system processes - including exchanges, EFT, issuances of customer loyalty cards and incoming goods receipts – and thus are generating additional utility. Therefore we should not be surprised, if soon we need to present the palm of our hand to exchange a blouse.