Could ‘Amazon One’ palm payments ever get upper hand over digital wallets?

Amazon One palm payments technology will be in every Whole Foods store by the end of 2023, and that might just be the beginning of its wider adoption in the retail environment... and beyond. But will consumers take to paying with their hands? Will security and privacy concerns prevail in their minds? … And just how user-friendly is it? We take a field trip to Amazon Fresh to find out.

The startling ease of using Amazon One — and the growth in consumer use of the palm-recognition payments technology — just begs for a handy pun or play on words. Something like:

“You’ve got to hand it to Amazon.”

As a payment device, the palm is tough to beat for convenience — you might even say it wins, hands down. You can’t absent-mindedly leave it at home like a credit card that’s infrequently used or a dongle that’s attached to a key ring. You don’t even need to pull out your phone. And since the palm is “original equipment” so to speak, it has more appeal than the idea one U.K. company was promoting a year or so ago to implant payment chips in people’s hands.

Amazon introduced its Amazon One payment service in September 2020 as “a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work more effortless,” in the words of an Amazon blog at the time. (The company had filed a patent application for the technology in 2018 and it was granted in late 2020.)


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