Shoppers accept implant and eye recognition payment schemes

Consumers are willing to have microchips inserted in their bodies as a way of paying for goods at supermarket checkouts, according to research from grocery think tank IGD.

The research reports that 8% of teenagers and 5% of adults surveyed are open to the implants, while 7% of shoppers also favour iris or retina recognition payment systems.

IGD chief executive Joanne Denney-Finch says the research concludes that only 31% of shoppers expect to buy all of their groceries at supermarket in the future. The findings contrast with the belief of many retail experts that consumers are increasingly seeking “everything under one roof”.

Denny-Finch, who was speaking at the IGD 2006 Convention, adds: “New technology, online shopping, ethical shoppers, healthy eating, environmentalism and [other] new attitudes from a new generation of shoppers are combining to shake up the status quo. We should stop claiming this is a mature industry.”

Meanwhile, almost one-third of the 1,000 shoppers surveyed say they want self-scanning systems at checkouts. This follows claims from consumer group Which? that Tesco’s self-service tills have been targeted by fraudsters, who have been able to pay for goods with stolen cards because the tills do not require a signature or PIN to complete a transaction (MW last week).

Tesco says the level of fraud at these pay points is no greater than at any other type of retail checkout.

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