Amazon on Tuesday unveiled a new biometric payment system with palm recognition that it is making available to competing retailers and is also to be promoted as a replacement for entering badges in stadiums or at work.
The system, called Amazon One, has been touted as “a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use the palm of their hand to perform everyday activities such as paying at a store, showing a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or effortlessly working. “
The US tech giant announced it will install the system in its Amazon Go retail locations, starting with two stores in its hometown of Seattle, Washington.
Dilip Kumar, vice president of Amazon, said the system was designed to be “a fast, reliable and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction as they seamlessly move through their day.”
Amazon One uses the “unique palm signature” of each individual, an alternative to other biometric identifiers such as fingerprint, iris or face recognition.
“Since no two palms are alike, we analyze all these aspects with our vision technology and select the most unique identifiers on your palm to create your palm signature,” said Kumar in a blog post.
In Amazon Go stores, the Palm Angle System is added to the store entrance gate as an option for shoppers.
“In most retail environments, Amazon One could be an alternative payment or loyalty card option with a device at the checkout in addition to a traditional point of sale system,” added Kumar.
The company said it was “in active discussion with several potential customers” that may include other retailers but did not provide details.
The announcement comes amid a surge in the use of biometric payments, ranging from fingerprint verification on smartphones to more sophisticated systems with facial recognition.
China’s Alipay – the financial arm of e-commerce giant Alibaba – is using a “smile-to-pay” system for retailers with a machine roughly the size of an iPad.
The relocation has also raised privacy concerns about protecting and protecting biometric data from hackers.
Amazon said the biometric data is “protected by multiple security controls and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device” but sent to a “highly secure area that we created specifically in the cloud.”
Doug Stephens of consulting firm Retail Prophet said Amazon needs to protect data in order to gain user confidence in the system and make it mainstream.
“Biometrics as a form of identification / payment etc. has always made sense,” said Stephens on Twitter. “The question is, will Amazon associate our comfort with them or violate our trust?”
(Except for the headline, this story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and published from a syndicated feed.)