CARACAS, Tuesday August 26, 2014 | Update

Fingerprint-reading machines to buy 23 basic items in Venezuela

The enrollment of clients in the biometric system is expected to take only 40 seconds

The system will be first launched in eight priority states (AVN)
Tuesday August 26, 2014  10:16 AM
The biometric system that will be implemented in Venezuelan supermarkets from November 30 will control the sale of 23 priority items, namely: flour, rice, milk, sugar, toilet paper, coffee, margarine, oil, chicken, meat, shampoo, bath soap, and detergent, among others. 

In Zulia state, west Venezuela, a pilot plan of the system has been running for two months in eight supermarkets.

For his part, Andrés Eloy Méndez, the Superintendent of Fair Prices, informed that once the fingerprint-reading machines are installed, the enrollment of clients, which includes collection of personal information and scanning of forefinger prints, is expected to take only 40 seconds. He hopes this mechanism will allow eliminating lines to buy food and resale of products.

The biometric system is first to be installed in eight states: Apure, Zulia, Táchira, Falcón, Sucre, Bolívar, Amazonas, and the Caracas Metropolitan area. Stores managing a large volume of products will be given priority. Pharmacy chains will also be included. Then, the system will be spread to the rest of the country.

The superintendent explained this system will not set restrictions on the amount of products; instead, it will regularize the frequency of purchase to once a week, according to the product bought. However, excessive purchases will not be allowed.

As for the fingerprint-reading machines, Méndez noted that the State will import them through the National Center for Foreign Trade (Cencoex). Each retailer will have to cover the costs of the machines.

The president of the Venezuelan Association of Supermarkets (ANSA) remarked that the association supports any measure allowing to stabilize supply and to bring commercial activity back to normal.

Translated by Andreína Trujillo