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03/09/2021

Amazon extends reach of palm-based payment option

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon now offers its Amazon One contactless payment device at nine Seattle-area stores, with more to come.

Initially introduced at two Seattle-area Amazon Go stores in September 2020, Amazon One is a proprietary technology designed to let customers use their unique palm signature to pay or present a loyalty card at a store. Amazon has been gradually adding Amazon One payment at select Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star stores in and around Seattle. 

On Tuesday, March 9, Amazon rolled out Amazon One at a Seattle-area Amazon 4-star store, marking the ninth store where the omnichannel giant offers palm-based payment. In the coming weeks, it will add Amazon One as a payment option to three additional Amazon stores in the Greater Seattle area, including locations of Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Pop Up. 

With this, a total of 12 Amazon physical retail stores in the Seattle area will offer Amazon One as an option, and the retailer says it will be introduced at more brick-and-mortar stores soon. To sign up for Amazon One, first customers insert their credit card in an in-store Amazon One device or kiosk. Next, they hover their palm over the device and enter their mobile phone number to complete sign-up. 

Since no two palms are exactly alike, customers can register both palms. A process of proprietary imaging and computer vision algorithms capture and encrypt the customer’s palm image, including tiny, distinct features on and below the surface, many that are indiscernible to the human eye or a standard camera. 

In seconds, a process of proprietary imaging and computer vision algorithms capture and encrypt a customer’s palm image. Amazon One uses the information embedded in a customer’s palm to create a unique palm signature that it can read each and every time the customer uses it.

A customer’s Amazon One ID is created when they sign up at an Amazon One device, and it contains their palm signatures, payment information, and contact information. To view Amazon One information online, including personal transaction history, customers can click the link in the welcome message they received when they first created their Amazon One ID and sign in with their Amazon account.

Amazon One is protected by multiple security controls and palm images are never stored on the device, but are encrypted and sent to a secure area Amazon custom-built in the cloud where it creates palm signatures. Customers can request to delete data associated with Amazon One through the device itself or via the Amazon One online customer portal.

“Thousands of customers in our Seattle-area Amazon stores have signed up to use Amazon One and are providing us with great feedback on the experience, from how quick it is to how they appreciate its contactless nature,” said Dilip Kumar, VP, physical retail & technology at Amazon. “We’re excited to continue rapidly expanding Amazon One as an option in even more of our stores in the Seattle area.”