Amazon’s palm scanning technology extends to 65 Whole Foods locations across California. Payment devices were introduced in 2020 as part of the Amazon One payment service, allowing customers to pay with a scan of their palm. It’s the company’s largest rollout yet, with the first new Whole Foods locations adding support today in Malibu, Montana Avenue and Santa Monica.
Customers can set up Amazon One by registering their palm print using a kiosk or point of sale at participating stores. Signing up requires you to provide a payment card and phone number, agree to Amazon’s terms of service, and share an image of your palms. When done, you can bring items to checkout without having to pull out your wallet, or even your phone. One hover of your hand over the device is enough to pay and go.
The Amazon One rollout is part of the company’s campaign to change the way customers interact in retail stores and works alongside its Just Walk Out-enabled stores with technologies that speed checkout. Amazon One is designed to accurately identify you and allow you to pay at Amazon-owned stores, but the company is also looking to expand the technology to outside businesses.
Several Whole Foods locations have already trialled palm scanning technology in the Los Angeles area, as well as Austin, Seattle and New York. It’s also available at the company’s Amazon Style store in Glendale and select Amazon Go and Fresh stores.
Amazon clarifies that images taken on the kiosk are not stored locally; instead, they are encrypted and then sent to a dedicated Amazon One cloud server, where an identifiable palm signature is generated. My colleague James Vincent has written more about how technology works and its concerns in 2020.
Amazon has successfully convinced millions of customers to give them data in exchange for a more convenient lifestyle. Things like online shopping, groceries, Alexa usage, Ring smart cameras, doorbells, and now room-mapping robot vacuums are all areas where Amazon collects data, and it will continue to grow. be a concern for privacy advocates.