According to Amazon, your palm print is worth about $10 in credit to its store. Once enrolled, you can use your palm to securely pay for goods at Amazon’s checkout-less retail stores. And if you sign up right now, Amazon will give you a $10 promotional credit. Does that sound like a good deal?
Amazon launched Amazon One in September last year, letting customers easily pay for stuff in the company’s stores. Once you connect your palm print to your Amazon account, just scan your palm on the way out, and you’re all done shopping. Additionally, the company wants to use it as a future identity system in stores, businesses, and concert venues.
The palm scanners can quickly and accurately read each minute characteristic of your palm by reading the ridges, lines, and veins. Amazon says this creates a palm signature, which is then stored in the cloud and used to confirm your identity when you’re in one of its stores.
The Amazon One program is currently available in 50 US locations, including Whole Food stores and Amazon Go shops throughout Seattle, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and Texas. In April, the company said “thousands” of customers have enrolled in the service, and if you’d like to enroll and get the $10 promotion, you can.
The advantage of a palm print is that you always have it with you even when you forget your wallet, plus it’s highly secure as no two palms are the same. And while some people might prefer this over facial recognition software, which Amazon tried to use in the past, you can’t change your palm like you do a password or debit card. We’re unsure if that will create challenges moving ahead, but it’s worth thinking about.
Many have voiced concerns over Amazon’s data collection practices, and we’re not really sure what they can even do with palm data. That said, you can bet it’ll be used for shopping history to better target ads and recommendations in the future.
For what it’s worth, you don’t have to link your Amazon One account to a regular Amazon account, which is nice to know. Even people who refuse to shop at Amazon could use Amazon One to pay at the grocery store, and eventually, even use it as a loyalty card at shops or to enter a concert venue.
Is this a “Big Brother is watching you” moment, or is Amazon just moving technology forward?