Several publications reported last month that Amazon is planning to introduce a biometric payment method in Whole Foods stores. In other words, customers with a Prime account and a card on file will be able to scan their hand at checkout to make a purchase.
With this technology and payment method, customers won’t actually have to touch the scanner, as the scanner uses computer vision and depth geometry. According to Amazon, the process takes less than 300 milliseconds, which is significantly faster than a regular card transaction.
Amazon is now testing the technology internally in order to improve its accuracy.
According to Businessinsider.com, if the hand-scanning payment method is successful, Amazon could look to license it to physical retailers and payment providers. Amazon could also bundle the technology with omnichannel sales management tools or aspects of its Amazon Go technology, which could make it a major player in the in-store payments space.
One of the challenges for Amazon will be customer – and government – concerns about data privacy and security. Although many people are accustomed to providing their fingerprints for access to their phones, a hand scan may initially be a tougher sell.