(WATCH) Dystopian Biometric Payment System In Action

Posted by on August 9, 2023 3:04 am

Amazon recently announced it’s installing pay-by-palm technology in Whole Foods stores across the country by the end of the year.

“Paying with your palm via Amazon One is a pretty great experience, and customers have been ‘voting with their palms’ for many months now,” said Amazon CEO Andy Jassy.

“By end of year, you won’t need your wallet to pay when checking out at any of the 500+ U.S. Whole Foods.”

Our friends at WLTReport shared more:

“Amazon Web Services’s palm recognition service for identification, payment, loyalty membership, and entry at over 400 locations across the U.S.—reaches a critical milestone with more than 3 million uses, Whole Foods Market stores are going all in,” Amazon announced.

“By the end of this year, all 500+ Whole Foods Market locations in the U.S. will offer Amazon One for payment and Prime membership benefits.”

“This means Whole Foods Market customers who choose to use Amazon One will no longer need their wallet or even a phone to pay—they can simply hover their palm over an Amazon One device,” Amazon continued.

How long until palm payment technology is mandatory to shop at Whole Foods Market?

Will this spread to other grocery chains?

According to CNBC, Amazon is marketing the technology to third parties.

From CNBC:

Amazon One is a biometric technology that lets users enter and pay for items at stores by placing a palm over a scanning device. Shoppers first have to connect their palm to a stored credit card. After that, they can pay by simply waving their hand over the kiosk.

The company first introduced the technology in its Go cashierless stores, but later began adding it to Whole Foods supermarkets. Amazon One is now in more than 200 Whole Foods locations, and the company said it will be available in all of the upscale grocer’s roughly 500 stores in the coming months.

Amazon said Thursday it’s seeing “growing demand” for the technology, with it recording 3 million uses of Amazon One.

The company has increasingly marketed its physical store technologies to third parties as part of a unit that now sits under its Amazon Web Services cloud division. Amazon has signed deals with airport stores, sports stadiums and concert venues to install its palm-based payment tech and cashierless checkout system, called Just Walk Out.

According to TechCrunch, “customers can pre-enroll via the web using their credit or debit card, Amazon account and mobile number.”

Amazon partners with American Express, Discover, Mastercard, Visa and other major U.S. banks.

“Customers then complete their enrollment process the first time they scan their palm over the Amazon One device when visiting a participating Whole Foods location,” the outlet writes.

More from TechCrunch:

“We are always looking for new ways to delight our customers and improve the shopping experience,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer at Whole Foods Market, in a statement about the expansion. “Since we’ve introduced Amazon One at Whole Foods Market stores over the past two years, we’ve seen that customers love the convenience it provides, and we’re excited to bring Amazon One to all of our customers across the U.S.”

Amazon insists that customer information is secure in its own AWS Cloud, where it’s protected by multiple security controls. Plus, it notes it’s not actually using the palm image to identify the customer, but rather a palm “signature.” That’s determined by looking at the palm and underlying vein pattern to create a unique, numerical, vector representation for identity matching.

Of course, Amazon’s entry into biometric payments isn’t only about speeding up checkout lines for customers’ convenience. By combining biometrics with payment card information and Amazon accounts, the retailer has created a system that could track customers in both the online and offline world, then serve highly personalized ads and recommendations, which would boost its revenue.

Videos have surfaced online of customers utilizing this freakish, totalitarian technology.

“I got my fruit, I got my yogurts, mint tea. And now it’s time to pay,” said one customer.

“Well, because we’re in Silicon Valley, I am not going to pay with my credit card. I am going to pay with my palm,” she said.


In another video, a Whole Foods customer says “I’m at Whole Foods and I’m about to pay for my groceries with my hand.”

“Did it work? That’s the coolest thing ever,” she said.


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