Amazon reads your hand, and turns it into a credit card

Amazon One scanner
Photo: Amazon

Amazon is after your fingerprints with Amazon One. The retail giant not only wants to make you pay in stores by literally waving your hand, but will also accompany you to the office and the football stadium.


Hand becomes payment card

Not your smartphone but you yourself will become the payment card with Amazon One. The American retail giant has developed a device that reads your hand and lets you check in or out at numerous places, starting with Amazon Go's own neighbourhood supermarkets. By holding one or both hands - that is up to the user - above the scanner for a second, Amazon wants to make it possible to pay in a store, use a loyalty card, gain access to a stadium or even take a bath at work.

As of today, the system will be rolled out to two Amazon Go stores in the United States, as an additional check-in option. In addition to the speed and convenience, the advantage is that people do not need an Amazon account. The first time they only need to fill in their credit card details, and then their hand becomes their identity and payment card.

Following the Chinese example

It is a variation on facial recognition, which is popular in China but controversial in the West. Amazon, however, calls the choice of hands a safer one than other biometric alternatives: “you can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm.”

Still following the Chinese example, Amazon is convinced that Amazon One is also "widely deployable outside our stores. We plan to offer the service to third parties, such as retailers, stadiums and office buildings", says a blog post. Interested third parties can contact the company, and talks are already underway with several potential customers.