Amazon “Pay by Palm” Needs Only a Wave of the Hand

By the end of the year, 500 Whole Foods stores will implement palm recognition technology, eliminating the need for your credit cards and phones to pay for your groceries. The palm recognition service, dubbed Amazon One, will be used for payment, identification, loyalty membership, and entry. If you’re a Prime member at Amazon, your membership will be linked for purchase savings and benefits.

Currently available at 200 locations in 20 states, including Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon, and Mississippi, Whole Foods will not be the only business implementing Amazon One for payment, ID, and secure entry. So far, Panera Bread adopted the technology enabling customers to simply wave their hands above the device to pull up their MyPanera loyalty account information and pay for their meals. At Coors Field stadium, customers purchasing alcoholic beverages can hover their palms over the Amazon One device to verify they are 21.

Amazon claims that palm payment is secure and cannot be replicated as the technology looks at the palm and the underlying vein structure to create “palm signatures” for each customer. Each palm signature is associated with a numerical vector representation securely stored in the AWS cloud. Amazon assured customers that palm data will not be shared with third parties, including “in response to government demands.”

Amazon customers can pre-enroll online with a credit or debit card, Amazon account, and phone number, and then complete the enrollment process by scanning their palm anywhere an Amazon One device is in use.

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