Amazon’s Palm Payment Tech Is Coming to All US Whole Foods Stores

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Soon, Whole Foods shoppers in the United States won’t have to bring their wallets to go grocery shopping. All US Whole Foods locations will be outfitted with Amazon One’s palm payment system before too long, Amazon said Thursday.

“By the end of this year, all 500+ Whole Foods Market locations in the US will offer Amazon One for payment and Prime membership benefits,” Amazon said.

Amazon One is a palm-based identity service that lets you verify your identity and pay by holding your hand over a scanner at stores and venues. Amazon began rolling out the technology at Amazon Go stores in Seattle in 2020 and has expanded to include some Panera Bread locations and Denver’s Coors Field.

Amazon One uses biometrics to scan palms as a way to authenticate an individual’s identity, similar to how law enforcement departments collect and store fingerprints.

Amazon’s handling of biometric data has raised some concerns, though. In March, Amazon was sued over New York City’s biometric surveillance law. The lawsuit alleges Amazon Go stores in the area failed to post signage that warned customers of biometric surveillance.

And in 2021, a group of US senators sent Amazon CEO Andy Jassy a letter questioning Amazon’s data collection practices and how secure they are.

“Amazon One reportedly uploads biometric information to the cloud, raising unique security risks,” the letter read. “Ensuring the security of user data and protecting consumer privacy are of the utmost concern.”

In response to concerns, Amazon has said Amazon One “was designed in accordance with Amazon’s long-standing privacy policies and controls.” The company also writes that palm prints aren’t stored on the palm-reading devices and that palm data is kept secure by both technical and physical means.

People can sign up for Amazon One for free.

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Zachary McAuliffe