Amazon announced today that it is bringing the Amazon One palm-scanning payment technology to Whole Foods stores in Seattle. The move marks the first use of the biometric system at a non-Amazon branded store.
Launched last September, Amazon One allows people to connect a credit card (and Amazon Prime account, of course) with a scan of their palm. Once scanned, customers can then pay for items at Amazon One-enabled stores simply by waving their hand over a special terminal at checkout.
As of March 2021, Amazon One was available in 12 Amazon stores in the Seattle area including Amazon Go, Go Grocery, and Amazon 4-Star. Starting today, Amazon One will be available at the Madison Broadway in Seattle Whole Foods, and the company says it will be expanding the program to seven more Seattle area Whole Foods locations in the coming months.
The addition of Amazon One at Whole Foods isn’t a surprise, given that Amazon owns Whole Foods. But it’s further illustration of how Amazon is leveraging its deep technological capabilities to reshape shopping experiences — and putting pressure on other brick-and-mortar retailers to up their own checkout experiences.
Amazon has developed a number of different systems to make checkout more frictionless. Famously, Amazon Go kicked off the era of “just walk out” cashierless checkout technology, which lets customers go into the store, grab what they want and get charged automatically upon exit. Amazon has also developed its Dash Cart, a smart shopping cart that allows for cashierless checkout at its stores.
Amazon also aims to license its various technologies to third parties. For instance, the company created a cashierless airport convenience store with the Hudson’s brand. And in the FAQ accompanying today’s Amazon One news, the company says it is in active discussions with several potential customers to use the palm payment system.
There are a number of startups looking to bring their own brand of cashierless checkout to retail (and help stave off Amazon). Companies like Zippin and Grabango install cameras and sensors to re-create the same type of just walk out shopping experience. And there are a number of smart shopping cart companies including Caper, Supersmart and Veeve.
If you want to learn more about the future of frictionless checkout at retail, be sure to attend ArticulATE, our food robotics and automation virtual summit on May 18th. We’ll have speakers from Zippin, Nomitri and many more, so get your ticket today!