Live from New York – it’s Amazon palm-based payment

Dan Berthiaume
Senior Editor, Technology
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Amazon has introduced its newest contactless payment method to shoppers in America’s most populated city.

Customers at the Amazon Go convenience store in midtown Manhattan can now pay for their purchases with just a wave of the palm of their hand.  The store, in an office building on the edge of Times Square, is the latest location — and first outside Washington state — to offer the Amazon One palm-scanning payment option.  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 gradually been 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. The retailer also recently implemented Amazon One at a Whole Foods Market location in Seattle, and said it plans to roll out Amazon One at seven additional Seattle-area Whole Foods stores in the coming months.

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.

Amazon currently offers Amazon One at 14 stores, and has announced the new payment option is coming soon to two specific Whole Foods locations in Seattle and Lynnwood, Wash.