Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Amazon Will Let Whole Foods Shoppers Pay With a Palm Scan

By Danny Vena - Updated Apr 22, 2021 at 4:05PM

You’re reading a free article with opinions that may differ from The Motley Fool’s Premium Investing Services. Become a Motley Fool member today to get instant access to our top analyst recommendations, in-depth research, investing resources, and more. Learn More

The tech takes digital payments to a Whole (Foods) new level.

Amazon (AMZN 0.16%) announced this week that it will begin using biometric technology that will allow Whole Foods customers at the Madison Broadway store in Seattle to pay for purchases with a scan of their palm print. The system, dubbed Amazon One, allows users to link a credit card account to their palm print, which they can then use as a payment method.  

Other Whole Foods stores will offer the tech in coming months, and this is likely just the beginning. Amazon plans to license the technology, which it believes will have a wide range of uses for payments and access, including at brick-and-mortar retail stores, stadiums, and office buildings.

A woman holding her palm over an laser scanner.

Image source: Amazon.

Amazon One was originally rolled out at two of the company's cashierless Amazon Go stores in Seattle to facilitate entry. In order to sign up, customers simply insert a credit card into the reader, hold their flat palm above the device, then follow prompts to associate the card with their palm print. Amazon One uses computer vision technology to map the lines and ridges of the palm print, creating a unique digital signature in real time. Once sign-up is complete, customers merely hold their palm above the contactless scanning device at checkout to facilitate payment. 

The e-commerce giant developed the system as a way to improve on existing user experiences, including paying at the checkout counter, using a loyalty card, entering a location, or flashing a badge at work. Amazon described the tech as a "quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day."

The technology is available to anyone with a mobile phone number and a credit card, even customers without an Amazon account. But those with accounts will be able to log in, manage personal information, and have access to usage history -- something its e-commerce customers use now.

John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Danny Vena owns shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Amazon. The Motley Fool recommends the following options: long January 2022 $1920.0 calls on Amazon and short January 2022 $1940.0 calls on Amazon. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Invest Smarter with The Motley Fool

Join Over 1 Million Premium Members Receiving…

  • New Stock Picks Each Month
  • Detailed Analysis of Companies
  • Model Portfolios
  • Live Streaming During Market Hours
  • And Much More
Get Started Now

Stocks Mentioned, Inc. Stock Quote, Inc.
$142.33 (0.16%) $0.23

*Average returns of all recommendations since inception. Cost basis and return based on previous market day close.

Related Articles

Motley Fool Returns

Motley Fool Stock Advisor

Market-beating stocks from our award-winning analyst team.

Stock Advisor Returns
S&P 500 Returns

Calculated by average return of all stock recommendations since inception of the Stock Advisor service in February of 2002. Returns as of 08/18/2022.

Discounted offers are only available to new members. Stock Advisor list price is $199 per year.

Premium Investing Services

Invest better with The Motley Fool. Get stock recommendations, portfolio guidance, and more from The Motley Fool's premium services.