Amazon announced it is expanding its palm-scanning payment system to a Whole Foods store in Seattle. The company released a statement on Apr. 21 regarding the expansion and it is the first of many planned rollouts at other Whole Foods locations.
Palm-scanning payment system at Whole Foods
Amazon One, which was first introduced in Sept. 2020 and is currently in use at about a dozen Amazon physical store, allows customers to pay for items by placing their palm over a scanning device.
The first time shoppers use the kiosk, where they have to insert a credit card to link it with their palm print. But after that, shoppers can pay simply by holding their hand over the kiosk, according to Gizmodo.
Amazon One is different from Amazon's Just Walk Out technology, which allows shoppers to pick up items and walk out of the store without going through a checkout line.
However, the two technologies can work together, and Amazon employs them both at its check out counters at Amazon Go stores.
Amazon will initially roll out Amazon One at the Whole Foods in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood, which is not far from Amazon's headquarters, before launching the palm-scanning payment system at 7 Whole Foods in Seattle in the next few months.
The palm-scanning technology will be offered as one of the many modes of payment at participating Whole Foods stores, Amazon stated, and won't impact store employees' job responsibilities.
Amazon acquired Whole Foods back in 2017 and bought it for more than $13 billion, as per Engadget.
Amazon said that it hopes to sell the palm-scanning technology to other companies like stadiums, retailers, and office buildings. Last year, Amazon stated that it was in active discussion with numerous potential customers.
It is not clear whether Amazon has signed any agreements with third parties interested in using the payment system. But the company says thousands of people have signed up to use it at Amazon stores.
As the regail giant has sought to expand and to validate palm-scanning technology as one of its mode of payments, privacy and security experts have also raised concerns around the dangers of customers giving their biometric data to companies.
Amazon has maintained that it designed the system to be very secure and that it considers palm-scanning technology to be more private than other biometric alternatives like facial recognition, according to CNN.
What is Amazon One
Last year, Amazon revealed its own palm recognition technology and used it turn the customer's hand into a personal credit card inside Amazon's physical retail stores.
Amazon One uses the palm of your hand to identify you, using a combination of surface-area details like lines and ridges, alongside vein patterns to create a palm signature.
At first, this palm signature was used in Amazon's own Go stores in Seattle, and the company added Amazon One to other Amazon stores.
Amazon One usage is set to extend beyond just palm-based payments.
Dilip Kumar, the vice president of Amazon's physical retail business, said that they believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond their retail stores.
Amazon also plan to offer the service to third parties in the future, so more people can benefit from this ease and convenience in more places.
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Written by Sieeka Khan