Amazon will roll out Amazon One, its palm payment service, to more than 65 Whole Foods stores. If the e-commerce giant claims to want to optimize the shopping experience, some are worried about the many data to which it now has access.
Pay with his palm
The stores in which the technology will be implemented are all in California. As a reminder, Whole Foods is an organic specialist store which was acquired by Amazon in 2017. Amazon One, which allows customers to pay using the palm of their hand, is currently available in a few establishments owned by the American giant, at namely a handful of Whole Foods stores in Austin, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle, as well as the Amazon Style store and select Amazon Fresh and Amazon Go grocery stores in California, reports The Verge.
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The technology is intended to optimize and facilitate the purchase of products. Customers can set up Amazon One by registering their palm print using a kiosk or POS station at participating stores. Signing up requires providing a payment card and phone number, agreeing to Amazon’s terms of service, and sharing an image of their palms. Once the process is complete, it is possible to checkout without having to take out your wallet or smartphone, unlike Just Walk Out technology. All you have to do is wave your hand over the device to pay and leave.
Amazon’s different technologies to optimize shopping
The company is working on many devices with the aim of improving the shopping experience. For example, its recently opened Amazon Style store in Los Angeles was designed to minimize the hassle of trying on clothes, such as the mess that tried-but-not-purchased items can cause. For example, each garment has a QR code that customers can scan to create a list of items they want to try on in a fitting room or send a salesperson directly to pick them up in the right size or color and then buy them. .
Similarly, Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh grocery stores are fully connected and do not require checkout, in particular thanks to the Just Walk Out technology which allows customers to pay using their smartphone. The company has also designed the Dash Cart, a smart shopping cart that uses a combination of computer vision and sensor fusion algorithms to check every item placed inside or removed from it, with a screen displaying a receipt in real time of all the items in the basket.
When shoppers are ready to checkout, all they need to do is walk out of the store through the Amazon Dash Cart aisle and their payment will be processed with the credit card associated with their Amazon account.
As for the security of palm data, linked to the Amazon account of Amazon One users, the company wants to be reassuring. She explains that they are encrypted and sent to a cloud server dedicated to Amazon One, where an identifiable palm signature is generated. Nevertheless, the deployment of this technology provides the e-commerce giant, once again, with a lot of very sensitive data on thousands of users.
Its takeover of the connected alarm company Ring, as well as its recent acquisition of iRobot, also gives it data inside the homes of millions of people, alarming privacy advocates and authorities in several countries.