Amazon launches palm payment option

Amazon is launching a palm payment technology in two Amazon Go stores to speed up the checkout process, simplify the shopping experience and enhance the retail customer experience — and, at some point, plans to sell it to other retailers and companies.

The Amazon One technology, now in play in two Seattle stores, features hardware that captures the tiny characteristic of a person’s palm, such as lines and ridges and even vein patterns, to create a palm signature. The omnichannel retailer said it is treating the palm data as important as any other sensitive personal data.

“We’re always looking for ways to make our customers’ lives better, and one area where we’ve spent time innovating is the customer shopping experience in stores. Today, our physical retail team is excited to introduce a new innovation called Amazon One. 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,” stated Dilip Kumar, VP, physical retail & technology, in a Amazon blog post today announcing the technology.

While launching initially in the two Amazon Go stores Amazon clearly has plans to sell the technology.

“In most retail environments, Amazon One could become an alternate payment or loyalty card option with a device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point of sale system. Or, for entering a location like a stadium or badging into work, Amazon One could be part of an existing entry point to make accessing the location quicker and easier,” wrote Kumar.

It takes less than 60 seconds for shoppers to sign up to use Amazon One. The first step is inserting a credit card into the device and then hovering a palm over the device and following prompts to connect the card with the palm signature created. Shoppers can enroll one or both palms.

“Beyond Amazon Go, we expect to add Amazon One as an option in additional Amazon stores in the coming months. And, we believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings so that more people can benefit from this ease and convenience in more places. Interested third parties can reach out through the email address provided on our Amazon One website,” wrote Kumar.

Amazon chose palm recognition as it’s viewed as more private than other biometric options and because it takes an intentional gesture to use the device.

This article originally appeared in Retail Customer Experience.

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