Amazon Is Testing Its Palm-Scanning Payment Option at Whole Foods

published Apr 29, 2021
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Amazon One hand scanner.
Credit: photo courtesy of Amazon

If Amazon has its way, you’ll never have to worry about leaving your wallet at home when you’re at the grocery store again. The company is currently testing its palm-scanning payment technology — where you literally pay for things with your hand — Amazon One, in one Whole Foods location in Seattle, Washington. Amazon plans to expand to seven other Seattle-area stores later this year, according to The Verge

Customers who are interested in using the payment option can register at a kiosk in the Seattle Whole Foods location on Madison Broadway by connecting their credit card to their palm scan. They can also connect their palms to their Amazon Prime accounts to receive Prime discounts in Whole Foods stores. 

Amazon launched the Amazon One technology last September and has been using it in Amazon-branded stores, including Amazon Go and Amazon Books, in the Seattle area. But entering Whole Foods is its biggest expansion yet and the company told The Verge that thousands of customers have already signed up. 

How does it work exactly? The technology analyzes the palm’s lines, ridges, and vein patterns which will theoretically increase the speed at the checkout counter and will make checking out contactless — something customers may appreciate more due to the pandemic. 

The technology however, will not make the checkout process at Whole Foods completely contactless like Amazon Go. A store associate will still need to scan the items and prompt the customer to pay. 

“We wondered whether we could help improve experiences like paying at checkout, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or even badging into work,” Dilip Kumar, vice president of physical retail and technology at Amazon, wrote in a blog post. “So, we built Amazon One to offer just that — a quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day.”