"This allows parents the security of knowing their dining dollars are spent on food," said Vijay K. Sharma, Sodexho's vice president for information and systems technology.
It's designed for students who are not on a meal plan at the university, he
said, and it's not scheduled to be used in the residence hall cafeterias.
The accounts work similarly to a bank account, Sharma
said.The students or their parents can deposit money into an account with Sodexho
, which in turn deposits it with a federally insured bank.Instead of using cash, credit or a check to pay for their meals, students will put their finger on the scanner and type in an identification number to access their money.
Students won't have to pay any fees to set up the accounts, and there are no transaction fees for using them, Sharma
Some businesses have used this technology for a few years for payroll check cashing and with time clocks, he
said, but it is Sodexho's
first attempt to implement it on a college campus.
"We've looked around, and we don't know of it being on any other campus, either," Sharma
said the system has been tested repeatedly, and he
believes it is secure.The machines do not store the scanned finger images, he
said.Instead they convert each image into a series of numbers and algorithms unique to each customer.
In addition to the finger scan, customers must also input an identification number, he