Amazon bringing palm-scanning checkout to Whole Foods stores

SEATTLE — Amazon Inc. introduced a new payment method Wednesday for shoppers at a Seattle area Whole Foods store near its corporate headquarters, allowing customers to pay with a simple swipe of their palm.

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The online retail behemoth unveiled the biometric technology, known as Amazon One, in September at about a dozen brick-and-mortar Amazon stores and is expected to expand the offering to seven additional Seattle area Whole Foods locations in the coming months, Reuters reported.

According to CNBC, first-time Amazon One shoppers insert a credit card to link it with their palm print via an on-site kiosk. Shoppers can then checkout by swiping their palm over the kiosk on all future visits.

The system offers a contactless alternative to cash and card payments, the company told Reuters, but stops short of adopting cashierless technology because Amazon One still requires scanning items at checkout.

In turn, the new technology is not expected to affect jobs at Whole Foods stores, the outlet reported.

Meanwhile, Amazon has stated it hopes to market the palm-scanning technology to other companies – including retailers, stadiums and office buildings – and maintains that the “highly secure” technology is more private than other biometric alternatives, such as facial recognition, CNBC reported.