Why your future purchase at the grocery store could all be in the palm of your hand

Published On October 6, 2020 | By Nicholas Rahmon | News

Amazon is setting its sights on the palm as a new identifiable way to pay at their stores.

The palm identifier is called the Amazon One. The e-commerce giant said its new technology can identify a person and their payment method from the distinctiveness of their palm before they enter an Amazon Go location.

In an Amazon Day One blog, Vice President of Amazon’s Physical Retail and Technology sector, Dilip Kumar, wrote “The service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature.”

Kumar says the Amazon One process asks a customer to insert a credit card, hover their palm over the device, and follow through with prompts for connecting your palm signature in real-time.

The company has started testing the palm recognition software at their two Amazon Go locations in Seattle and will continue its development for shoppers while expanding to other retailers.

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A poll conducted by German payment processor Wirecard in December 2019 and published in February of this year asked adults worldwide which type of retail technology they would like to see in grocery stores.

Sixty-one per cent said they prefer stores without employees like Amazon Go.

Peter Tams works as a private label reseller for businesses looking to expand and place their products on Amazon. “I don’t think it’s personal as people want to be able to use their credit card to see what they’re checking out. The transition from employees checking out products to self-checkout was already a big move and places like Walmart who’ve done this have to deal with theft and I don’t see that non-personal experience being beneficial,” Tams said.

However, the idea of using the palm isn’t the first of its kind as smartwatch companies like Apple, Samsung, and even Pebble have moved forward and incorporated the idea.

Tams says privacy is always a concern, and the palm identification may be the idea that eases consumers worries towards a safer way to shop.

“I think it (the palm) would be beneficial — as a watch can see your IP address and your login credentials. With the palm, Amazon isn’t forcing you to buy a watch but rather, it’s a simple tap and go,” Tams said.

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