The contents of one’s wallet — debit cards, credit cards, cash, etc. — can quickly add up and create the dreaded Costanza wallet. Thanks to a team from Carnegie Mellon University, the days of carrying around bulky billfolds in back pockets could be coming to an end.

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PayTango is a new secure payment system that uses a fingerprint scanner to identify shoppers and provide them with one easy payment method. The system is a way to consolidate all the bank, ID and/or gift cards that take up valuable wallet real estate.

Seniors Christian Reyes, Brian Groudan, Kelly Lau-Kee and Umang Patel developed a PayTango prototype earlier this year and collaborated on a pilot program with the university’s dining services.

Developers say signing up for the system only takes 20 seconds. Users begin by having their index and middle finger scanned by a biometric sensor, then swipe a credit or debit card to link the fingerprint with an account number. Any card with a magnetic strip can be used with PayTango. Finally, users enter their cellphone number as a means of contact.

Once the account is registered, users can simply pay their tab by placing their fingers on a PayTango scanning device next to the cashier, and funds are deducted accordingly. All Carnegie Mellon students who’ve signed up for a university meal plan now have the option to enroll in PayTango.

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Carnegie Melon may not be renowned as much of “party school,” but I could see PayTango being extremely popular with a certain demographic of students, namely those who partake in any extracurricular activities that may induce the munchies and cause one to forget one’s wallet back at the dorm.

via Gizmag

Credit: Carnegie Mellon