Amazon Brings Palm-Scan Payment Tech to Whole Foods

Amazon One payments will launch in a Seattle Whole Foods.

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Need to Know

  • Amazon One, the Amazon device that uses a palm scan to facilitate payments, is now available at one Whole Foods store in Seattle.
  • The company debuted Amazon One in September 2020 at its own physical stores in the US.
  • Amazon will bring Amazon One to seven more stores in the Seattle area in the coming months.

Analysis

Amazon is bringing its contactless, palm-scanning payment device, Amazon One, to Whole Foods.

Customers can now use Amazon One to pay for their purchases at a Seattle location of the Amazon-owned grocery chain. Amazon will introduce Amazon One to seven more Whole Foods stores in the Seattle area in the coming months.

Amazon One launched in September at Amazon’s own brick-and-mortar stores in the Seattle area, including Amazon Go, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Pop Up.

The device allows customers to use a scan of the palm of their hand to pay for purchases. First-time users simply insert a credit card into the Amazon One device while holding their hand over the device as it scans their palm. Their unique palm scan is then linked to their credit card, enabling them to check out with their purchases simply by scanning their palm on the Amazon One device during all future checkouts. Amazon Prime customers can also choose to link their Amazon One ID with their Amazon account, which will allow them to access their Prime member discount when shopping at Whole Foods Market.

Amazon One, or “pay by palm,” is expanding to Whole Foods locations.

“At Whole Foods Market, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” Arun Rajan, senior vice president of technology and chief technology officer at Whole Foods Market, said of the Amazon Go integration. “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. We’re starting with an initial store at Madison Broadway in Seattle and look forward to hearing what customers think as we expand this option to additional stores over time.”

Amazon Go was launched as contactless payments spiked in popularity due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The palm-scanning technology is part of Amazon’s Just Walk Out suite of products, which requires customers to use a credit card to enter a store; a series of cameras, sensors, and deep learning then track items customers put into their shopping carts, adding them to a virtual shopping cart. While Amazon has not confirmed any third-party partners for Amazon Go in particular, Hudson, the travel convenience store chain, began rolling out Just Walk Out technology in its stores in January of this year.

Whole Foods, meanwhile, has launched a number of pandemic-friendly pivots, including the opening of its first-ever online-only “dark” store in September, and the launch of an AR try-on tool, in partnership with cosmetics brand Mineral Fusion, in March.

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