Whole Foods is into palm reading
Whole Foods Market stores in Los Angeles are giving customers the option of paying for their groceries using their palms.
A location in Silver Lake and another in Irvine are becoming the first of the chain’s stores to make use of the Amazon One palm recognition technology that enables customers to pay with a scan of their palm.
The LA stores follow a Whole Foods on Manhattan’s West Side, which introduced the technology earlier this week. Whole Foods is planning to roll out Amazon One at its store in Playa Vista, CA, in the coming weeks. The technology is also currently being used at Whole Foods in Seattle and Austin, TX.
The store in Austin was the first Whole Foods outside of Seattle at which Amazon deployed the technology. Plans are in place for six more stores in the Austin region to deploy Amazon One, according to CNET. The market will become the second where every Amazon-owned store offers the payment technology to customers.
The idea behind the Amazon One technology is to provide customers with a convenient and secure way to purchase goods without having to use their credit cards at store checkouts.
Customers enroll by having one or both of their palms scanned and linked to a credit or debit card for payment. Amazon.com says the entire process of registering for Amazon One takes less than a minute.
Amazon.com, Whole Foods’ parent company, is looking to scale its biometric payment technology through some of its Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh locations. It is also looking to expand the number of third-party locations that deploy the technology, as well.
Concerns have been raised in the past about the use of biometric technology and the ability of retailers to protect consumers’ personal information from being stolen. Amazon, in an email sent to members of the press, said its devices are protected by “multiple security controls” and that customer “palm images are never stored” on its devices. All palm images are encrypted and sent to a proprietary Amazon One area in the cloud where signatures are created.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you see biometric payment technology such as Amazon One being widely accepted by retailers and customers alike? What do you see as the pros and cons of this technology compared to other payment methods?