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Amazon hands palm-based payment to Whole Foods shoppers

The reach of Amazon’s contactless payment device keeps growing across the tech giant’s brick-and-mortar banners.

Amazon is bringing its palm-scanning payment option to a Whole Foods Market location in Seattle. The company plans to add Amazon One as a payment option at seven additional Whole Foods stores in the Seattle area during the coming months.

Initially introduced at two Seattle-area Amazon Go stores in September 2020, Amazon One is 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 to a select number of its brick-and-mortar stores — including Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books and Amazon 4-star — in and around Seattle. 

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.

“At Whole Foods Market, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” said Arun Rajan, senior VP of technology and CTO at Whole Foods Market. “Working closely with Amazon, we’ve brought benefits like Prime member discounts, online grocery delivery and pickup, and free returns to our customers, and we’re excited to add Amazon One as a payment option beginning today.”

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