Amazon’s One palm scanner payment technology will reportedly expand to more than 65 Whole Foods stores in California, according to TechCrunch and other media outlets. The latest rollout will affect stores in Los Angeles, Sacramento, Orange County, the San Francisco Bay Area and Santa Cruz, Calif.
Amazon One was launched in Amazon Go stores in 2020 and early 2021 before expanding to an Amazon Fresh supermarket later that year. The technology has since spread to Whole Foods stores in cities including Austin, Texas, Seattle, Los Angeles, New York City and Washington, D.C. Non-food deployments include the Amazon Style fashion store in Glendale, Calif.
Amazon One creates palm signatures using machine learning to identify customers by taking a picture of a user’s palm. The image isn’t stored onsite but is instead encrypted and sent to a server for matching in order to maintain a high degree of security. This connects the customer’s palm with a payment card, letting shoppers simply hold their hand over a scanner to complete their transactions.
The collected biometric data also may be valuable for Amazon as data continues to play a growing role in retail operations. However, the security offered by uploading the encryption to Amazon servers was a point of concern for Senators Amy Klobuchar, Bill Cassidy and Jon Ossoff, who wrote in an open letter to Amazon CEO Andy Jassy that the practice is “raising unique security risks.”
Regardless of the potential pushback, Amazon is already making good use of its collected data. The retailer is sharing store-based analytics from Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go stores with CPG brands to help them improve the customer experience. The retail giant has made it very clear that consumer privacy remains a priority and that brands will never receive personal information about shoppers such as their name or individual shopping history.