If biometrics is ever going to be a part of how consumers make payments, PayTango Inc. figures the best place to find out is on college campuses.
The Mountain View, Calif.-based payments technology startup is testing its fingerprint scanner and card-reader product at universities close to its headquarters.
Four Carnegie Mellon University students who will graduate this summer — Brian Groudan, Kelly Lau-Kee, Umang Patel and Christian Reyes — founded PayTango last year.
Consumers can sign up for the PayTango system by touching a scanner with the index and middle finger to register a print. They then swipe a payment card to link with that fingerprint, and enter their cell phone number into the system to associate with the account.
If a student who places his finger on the pad to initiate a payment has not previously registered, the system will prompt for these details, according to the PayTango website.
PayTango promotes its fast sign-up process, stating it was able to register 100 students within four hours on the Carnegie Mellon campus.
PayTango is placing the systems in locations where students tend to gather on a regular basis, such as lunch halls, cafes and fitness centers. Upon entering these businesses, students simply place their fingers on the scanner and the transaction is completed with the registered credit card.
Y Combinator, a Silicon Valley organization that provides funding for startup companies, currently supports the PayTango venture. The organization has funded more than 500 startups since 2005, including WePay, Bump, Stripe, Airbn and others, according to the Y Combinator website.
The PayTango card reader works with a merchant’s existing point of sale terminal and software, the company states on its website. The service is free to consumers, but merchants pay for the service through a contract with PayTango.