Never mind cashless payments: Whole Foods customers who sign up for Amazon Web Service’s palm payment system can leave their cards and phones at home, too. According to a company announcement, the grocery store chain already offers Amazon One in 200 locations across the U.S., and is planning to equip every one of its more than 500 stores with palm biometrics payment by the end of 2023.
Amazon One, which has been used 3 million times, uses palm-scanning technology for biometric identification, payment, loyalty membership, and entry services. Whole Foods shoppers who hover their hand over the Amazon One device to pay for their organic fennel and soy milk can also access discounts via a linked Amazon Prime account.
The Amazon One system has found pickup in retail, food and beverage, at airports, and at large events. Select Panera Bread outlets offer it for a bespoke customer experience. Thirsty fans at Colorado’s Coors Field can verify their age with the wave of a palm.
Shoppers wishing to wave goodbye to their wallets can register online, then scan their palm biometrics at any Amazon One device to complete enrolment. The scanners record a layered palm image that incorporates both the surface of the palm and the underlying vein structure, to make physical replication nearly impossible. Data is stored in the AWS Cloud, and the POS scanners themselves have tamper-detection functions.
On their FAQ, Amazon says the company chose palm recognition because it is considered more private than public-facing biometrics, such as the face, which allow for easy identification. “It also requires an intentional gesture — hovering your palm over an Amazon One device — to use,” says the post. “And it’s contactless, which we think customers will appreciate.”