February 26, 2024

Amazon releases new cashless “pay by palm” technology that only requires a wave of the hand

Amazon is taking cashless payments to another level.

In a new rollout, the tech giant is giving customers another contactless way to pay for groceries – with their hands.

In a statement Thursday, Amazon announced that the palm recognition service, called Amazon One, will be used for payment, identification, loyalty membership, and entry at more than 500 Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh locations nationwide by the end of the year.

Instead of pulling out a credit card or even a phone for Apple Pay, subscribing customers will simply wave their hands over an Amazon One device to pay. And if you’re already a Prime Member, you can link your membership to Amazon One to apply any savings or benefits to your purchase as well.

The technology is already available at 200 locations across 20 US states including Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon and Mississippi.

“By the end of the year, you won’t have to pay your wallet when checking out at any of the 500+ U.S. @WholeFoods,” tweeted Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.

But you don’t just have to shop at Whole Foods to take advantage of the convenient new technology. According to the statement, many other businesses are implementing Amazon One as a secure payment, identification and entry tool.

Panera Bread, for example, has adopted the technology so that customers can simply wave their hands over the device to pull up their MyPanera loyalty account information and pay for their meals.

At Coors Field stadium in Colorado, customers looking to purchase alcoholic beverages can wave their hands over an Amazon One device to verify they are 21 or older.

According to the company, palm payment is secure and cannot be duplicated because the technology looks at both the palm and the structure of the veneer to create unique “palm signatures” for each customer. Each palm signature is associated with a numeric vector representation and is securely stored in the AWS cloud, Amazon said.

Palm is the safest biometric to use because you can’t identify a person with it, Amazon said. The high-tech company assured customers that their palm data will not be shared with third parties, including “in response to government demands.”

To enroll a palm, an Amazon customer can pre-register online with a credit or debit card, Amazon account and phone number, and then complete the enrollment process by scanning their palm anywhere an Amazon One device is used.

“We are always looking for new ways to delight our customers and improve the shopping experience,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer at Whole Foods Market. “Since we’ve introduced Amazon One at Whole Foods Market stores over the past two years, we’ve seen customers love the convenience it provides.”

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