Amazon has introduced the latest touchless way to pay at checkout. Dubbed Amazon One, the method allows users to pay with the palm of their hand at some of its stores.
The giant eCommerce website can now connect a stored credit card with a palm print. Here’s how it works: place the palm of your hand above a sensor and purchase products at checkout-free Amazon Go stores.
For now, the feature will only be available at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle, at 7th Avenue and Blanchard Street and its store in South Lake Union at 300 Boren Avenue North. But there are plans to expand it across Seattle, New York, Chicago and San Francisco, the company said.
If it’s a hit with users, Amazon plans to bring it to other retailers as well as performance venues and the nation’s offices.
Dilip Kumar, Amazon’s vice president of physical retail, told the network the technology had been in the planning stages long before the pandemic.
“I encourage people to try it, see how they like the experience, and then go from there,” Kumar said.
On Amazon’s blog, Kumar wrote, “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.”
The initiative comes as shoppers continue to explore contact-free payment technology. Businesses, which have been seeking more tech solutions to COVID-19’s challenges, may also find it appealing, CNN reported.
Still, some shoppers may be reluctant to provide Amazon with biometric data. The company has faced criticism from privacy advocates who are concerned about its facial-recognition software.
But Kumar insists the company is not storing any data on its store scanners. Instead, he said, the palm images are encrypted and stored online.
In an interview with PYMNTS, Sanjay Gupta, vice president and global head of products and corporate development at Mitek, the California-based software provider, said getting the most out of the tons of data generated by consumers while boosting identity assurance efforts requires a skillful interplay between humans and machines.
Gupta noted during the pandemic, huge numbers of people have avoided going to stores. Merchants, he said, are adding online customers — and many of those individuals are supplying identity documents, and in some cases selfies, to prove they are who they say they are.
“That’s one area that has been growing over the past several years,” said Gupta.
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