Amazon announced today that its pay-with-your-palm technology, Amazon One, is now available at the Amazon Go store at 11 W 42nd St in New York City. This marks the first time the contactless payment tech has been available outside of the Seattle area.
Amazon One lets participants use their palm as a biometric key to pay for items and, in the case of Amazon Go, gain entrance into the store. To sign up, shoppers insert their credit card in an Amazon One device and hover their palm over the scanner. After that, when shopping at One-enabled stores, shoppers just hover their palm over the device at checkout to pay. Palm scans can also be associated with existing Amazon and Amazon Prime accounts.
Amazon introduced its palm payment technology back in September of last year, rolling it out to a number of Amazon-branded stores like Amazon Go and Amazon 4-Star. With its implementation at the the New York Go store, Amazon One is now available in 14 Amazon-related locations including Whole Foods Markets.
Today’s expansion to New York marks the first time Amazon’s palm payment system has left the confines of Washington state. Amazon has not been shy about its ambitions around selling the technology into third-party retailers. Getting the technology into New York will help expose it not only to Amazon shoppers, but potential retail customers as well.
Amazon One is arriving at the right time. The pandemic has retailers looking to create more contactless shopping experiences that reduce touchpoints in the store. Hovering a palm over a scanner certainly does that, as there’s no terminal for a customer to touch, or a staffer to wipe down.
The bigger question around Amazon One, however, is how willing people will be to give up their very personal biometic data to Amazon. You may not mind the e-commerce giant knowing exactly how bad your addiction to Spindrift seltzer water is, or even letting the company open up your garage so a delivery driver can place groceries in there when you aren’t home. But customers may not be willing to, err, hand over their individual palm print for Amazon to have on file.