New Look China selects DigitalPersona biometrics

London -- The China-based business of U.K. fashion retailer New Look has selected a POS system enabled with DigitalPersona fingerprint technology. After a successful trial at six of the retailer’s stores in February, New Look is set to expand their use of biometrics in 16 of its stores by the end of 2014, with longer-range plans to equip 100 stores by 2017.

The retailer initially selected biometric technology as an alternative to passwords for improving time and attendance accuracy, but found it also enhances loss prevention and customer service. Each New Look store has two-to-four POS terminals depending on the store size, which are shared by the retailer’s employees. In the past, the potential for employees to clock in for each other existed, increasing the risk of payroll fraud.

Prior to adopting fingerprint biometrics, New Look implemented six-digit passwords to enhance security. However, passwords were cumbersome for employees to remember and had to be changed every 90 days to meet security standards. As a result, the IT department at New Look’s U.K.-based headquarters saw an uptick in the number of calls to reset forgotten passwords.

New Look employees now use their fingerprints to clock in and log on to the POS terminals, providing a more secure alternative to passwords. In turn, store managers and deputy managers must use their fingerprints to approve returns, discounts and overrides. New Look China is also considering recommending deployment at their U.K. headquarters.

“We have seen customer service levels improve because employees are more efficient since they no longer have to remember complex passwords,” said Sky Shen, senior IT consultant at New Look. “Biometrics has helped us stay below our one percent loss prevention standard since fingerprints are also now used for management authorization of overrides.”

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