Amazon Introduces Palm-Scanning Payment Method At Whole Foods

Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is introducing a palm-scanning payment system at select Whole Foods locations.

The online retail giant said palm scanning will initially rollout at Whole Foods stores in Seattle, Washington before expanding to other locations.

"Amazon One," which debuted in September 2020 and is currently in use at about a dozen Amazon physical stores, allows shoppers to pay for items by placing their palm over a scanning device. The first time that shoppers use the kiosk, they have to insert a credit card to link it with their palm print. But after that, shoppers can pay simply by holding their hand over the kiosk.

Amazon One is distinct from the company’s "Just Walk Out" technology, which allows shoppers to pick up items and walk out of the store without going through a checkout. However, the two technologies can work together, and Amazon employs them both at its cashier-less "Amazon Go" stores.

The palm-scanning technology will be offered as just one of many payment options at participating Whole Foods stores, Amazon said, and won’t impact store employees’ job responsibilities. Amazon acquired grocery chain Whole Foods in 2017 for more than $13 billion U.S.

Amazon has said it hopes to sell the palm-scanning technology to other retailers, stadiums and office buildings. Last September, Amazon said it was in "active discussions with several potential customers."

As Amazon has expanded and validated palm-scanning technology as a form of payment, privacy and security experts have raised concerns about the dangers of shoppers’ handing over biometric data to big companies.