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Amazon Pilots New Payment Option at Select Amazon Go Stores in Seattle

Amazon One palm reading device

SEATTLE — Customers at two Amazon Go stores in the retail giant's hometown can try a new form of payment: their palm.

In late September, Amazon began trialing Amazon One at its stores at 2131 7th Ave. and 300 Boren Ave. North in Seattle. According to the company, Amazon One is a "contactless identity service that uses your palm — just hover to enter, identify and pay."

In a post written by Dilip Kumar, vice president, physical retail & technology, Amazon said the service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person's unique palm signature.

According to Kumar's post, to sign up, a customer inserts a credit card into the Amazon One device, hovers their palm over the device and follows the prompts to link the credit card with "the unique palm signature" Amazon's computer vision technology creates in real time.

Once enrolled, customers hold their palm above the Amazon One device when entering one of the pilot stores.

"Beyond Amazon Go, we expect to add Amazon One as an option in additional Amazon stores in the coming months," Kumar wrote. "And, we believe Amazon One has broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums and office buildings so that more people can benefit from this ease and convenience in more places."

Amazon selected palm recognition for several reasons:

  • The palm recognition is considered more private than some biometric alternatives;
  • It requires a customer to make an intentional gesture by holding their palm over the device to use; and
  • It's contactless.

"Ultimately, using a palm as a biometric identifier puts customers in control of when and where they use the service," Kumar wrote.

Customers do not need an Amazon account to use Amazon One.

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