Amazon One palm payments technology will be in every Whole Foods store by the end of 2023, and that might just be the beginning of its wider adoption in the retail environment… and beyond. But will consumers take to paying with their hands? Will security and privacy concerns prevail in their minds? … And just how user-friendly is it?
Amazon introduced its Amazon One payment service in September 2020 as “a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work more effortless,” in the words of an Amazon blog at the time. (The company had filed a patent application for the technology in 2018 and it was granted in late 2020.)
Amazon announced in July 2023 that the technology had been used over 3 million times and that it would begin a major expansion of Amazon One to bring it to all 500 of its Whole Foods Market stores in the United States by the end of the year. At the time, it was in place at about 200 Whole Foods Markets, along with Amazon Fresh stores and other non-Amazon locations.
“This means Whole Foods Market customers who choose to use Amazon One will no longer need their wallet or even a phone to pay — they can simply hover their palm over an Amazon One device,” Amazon said in the announcement. Amazon Prime members who link their account to their palm get their in-store prime savings automatically when they check out.
Do consumers feel comfortable with this idea? What is Amazon up to? How does it work? How secure is it? And finally, what does it feel like to use it? The Financial Brand set off to find out.
Amazon is clearly pushing the Amazon One palm technology, but many people will need time to get used to the idea.
CivicScience surveyed consumers twice about their comfort level with palm recognition technology, in 2019, when Amazon had announced it was coming, and during July 2023. This year, 10% said they were “very comfortable” with the technology, an improvement from 2019, when 7% were. This year 17% said they were “somewhat comfortable” with the tech, compared with 15% in 2019. As the chart below shows, there’s only been a five-percentage-point change among those who describe themselves as “not at all comfortable.”
One bright spot for Amazon in the CivicScience research is that just over a third of consumers who already use mobile payment apps say they are at least “somewhat comfortable” with palm payments. Yet 66% are “not at all comfortable.”
This is a significant point because in some circles Amazon One technology is seen as much more than a way to pay seamlessly at Amazon locations. It’s being used at a handful of Panera restaurants and other retail locations for purchases and has been used for access at concerts. But the stakes could be much bigger.
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Banking 4.0 – „how was the experience for you”
„So many people are coming here to Bucharest, people that I see and interact on linkedin and now I get the change to meet them in person. It was like being to the Football World Cup but this was the World Cup on linkedin in payments and open banking.”
Many more interesting quotes in the video below: