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You can't say nobody saw Pay By Touch's demise coming. Remember the recent college grad Pay By Touch CEO John Rogers said he would sic a former Israeli secret agent on? Here's an executive summary of the paper he wrote back in 2004 titled "Credit Card Fraud, Biometrics, and the Pay By Touch Method."

Pay By Touch did not convince credit card networks to reduce transaction rates for Pay By Touch accepting merchants. Such a network would want exclusivity to do so, limiting consumer adoption. Even so, Pay By Touch would not compel consumers to switch credit card companies. Customers care more about "rewards."

The rest is history: Pay By Touch abandoned its original dreams of competing with Visa and MasterCard, and raised cash from hedge funds to buy out a bunch of other biometrics startups. That saddled it with a bunch of offices around the country, 700-some employees, and a hodgepodge of businesses which founder John Rogers was poorly suited to manage.