Collecting Identifying Information
Retailers have collected identifying information since the business of retail was born. Before modern technology, retail proprietors would rely on their memory to know their frequent customers by name and use basic technology such as pen and paper to keep track of their clientele.
With the advent of Point-of-Sale technology (POS), retailers could more easily keep track of customers and their purchases. We have progressed rapidly from hand-written sales drafts to credit card imprints to credit card swipes. Today POS information can be collected from the consumers’ use of smart phones to complete a transaction.
What’s next? It is easy to see how Biometrics will be used to take the process further. Fingerprints are currently being used to authorize smart phone payments in Apple Pay. In Europe, Mastercard is promoting fingerprint, iris and facial recognition to verify identity in its Identity Check services. In China, DNA and blood type samples are being taken in the province of Xinjiang.