Amazon is launching biometric technology at Whole Food stores in Seattle that gives shoppers the ability to pay with a scan of their palms, Reuters reported on Wednesday (April 21).
The biometric technology is first rolling out at the Seattle Whole Foods near Amazon’s headquarters, with plans to expand to seven additional stores in the metro area.
The new system, Amazon One, gives shoppers the ability to associate a credit card with their palm print. The biometric tech offers a contactless way to pay, without the need to carry cash or cards for payments.
Amazon’s contactless payments technology — Just Walk Out — is already in use at Amazon’s 26 physical Go and Books retail locations. The first Go store was launched in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood in February 2020.
The palm-scanning technology is different from Just Walk Out, however, in that it still requires scanning items at checkout. The tech is being used at about a dozen Amazon brick-and-mortar locations in Seattle.
“Amazon One is a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work more effortless. The service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature,” the eCommerce giant said in a blog post in September 2020.
Just Walk Out and Amazon One technology are available to third-party merchants and could be a $50 million business. That part of Amazon’s business will expand based on consumer demand, said Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon.
In January, the convenience store chain Hudson Group started using the Just Walk Out technology at its 1,000-plus North American airports, train stations and other tourist destinations. Hudson stores are mostly frequented by people on the move and the contactless tech will enable people to get in and out of the stores fast and without standing in lines.
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