Amazon (AMZN) – Get Report on Tuesday said it would offer palm-scan signatures for payments at its stores, and offer the technology to third-party stores, in an effort to increase use of contactless transactions.
The move comes as the U.S. continues to have the most covid-19 cases in the world.
The new service, called Amazon One, will enable customers to use their palms for activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work.
Palm-based scanners are currently available at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle and the company said it planned to expand the concept to other store locations in coming months.
Amazon One “has broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings so that more people can benefit,” the company said in a blog post.
Customers don’t need an Amazon account to use Amazon Go.
A user inserts a credit card into an Amazon One device and hovers a palm over the device to build a signature.
To address data-privacy concern, the Seattle tech and online-retail company said, palm images will never be stored on the Amazon One devices. Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area of the cloud.
The company started up Amazon Go in 2018 and currently operates 26 of the stores in the U.S.
In an Amazon Go store, a customer swipes in with the Amazon app, takes items from the shelves and leaves. The stores have no checkout counters. The company’s technology — machine learning, computer vision and artificial intelligence — simply recognizes what the customer takes and bills the customer’s Amazon account.
Last week the Seattle tech giant unleashed an array of new products including new Echo models, a game service called Luna, a drone for home security, and many others.
Shares of Amazon closed on Tuesday off 0.9% at $3,144.88.