Amazon’s Pay-By-Palm Tech Takeover

By: James Flippin · July 21, 2023 · Reading Time: 3 minutes

No Wallet, No Problem

With Apple Pay (AAPL) and other digital payments stored on your phone, you may no longer feel the need to bring your wallet or purse with you when you shop. Now, thanks to Amazon’s (AMZN) latest announcement, you might not need to bring your phone either.

Amazon announced it will be rolling out its pay-by-palm technology to each of its Whole Foods locations by the end of the year. This technology allows customers to pay for goods by simply scanning their palms.

How It Works

The technology behind this announcement is called Amazon One. In the company’s words, “Amazon One is a free identity service that uses biometric technology to let you pay at a store using only your palm.”

To sign up, you scan your palm and connect it to a stored credit card. Once you’ve done that, you are able to pay at stores where Amazon One is accepted by scanning your hand at checkout.

Since Amazon One collects your biometric data, locations where the technology is installed will also be able to identify you at checkout. At grocery stores, like Whole Foods, this could prevent underage shoppers from buying alcohol or tobacco products, in addition to automatically applying loyalty programs and Amazon Prime member benefits.

Paying by Palm

Since Amazon doesn’t have much in the way of physical retail locations, the ecommerce giant has primarily focused on licensing this tech to other retailers. So far, the payment service has been installed at 400 stores and venues. Amazon has also inked deals to test the tech at sports stadiums, airports, and Panera Bread locations.

While some shoppers might be hesitant to scan their palm and relinquish more personal data, it seems many aren’t shy to the idea — Amazon One already has 3 million users. If the tech proves more convenient than physical cards, or digital payment apps, Amazon could convince even the most data-conscious consumers to give it a try.

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