Amazon is developing a hand-scanner payment option

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Amazon are reportedly developing a hand-scanner payment device that consumers can use to make and authorise payments. Customers will be able to pay through a credit or debit card linked to their palm print and is detailed on the US Patent & trademark office’s website ‘A non-contact biometric identification system includes a hand-scanner that generates images of a user’s palm.’

As well as rolling out the device in their own whole food supermarkets in the coming months, Amazon plan to eventually give third party merchants like fast food chains access to the terminal. The company is said to be currently testing the devices with VISA.

Using such technology to authorise payments is nothing new. Apple Pay are already using face & fingerprint recognition to authorise payments via a payment card on your mobile device. Apple Pay can already be used in stores with a contactless card machine and at many places online like eBay, not amazon though.

Would you ‘hand’ your customers to Amazon through a hand-scanner?

The whole ideology around the device is interesting. A person wouldn’t need to search around for their card or phone, they would simply place their readily available limb onto the reader and pay. Domineering Amazon are a clear competitor to the retail industry. Knowing this, would retailers actually want to implement the hand-scanning payment system of such a prominent competitor knowing that they are ‘handing’ their business intelligence over to them? It’s clear that the device could track the purchase patterns of a customer letting Amazon advertise their own products & services accordingly.

Retail convenience is just another area Amazon are focusing in on, it seems that if you’re an online store heading to the physical realm of retail you can offer some interesting solutions for convenience. AmazonGO is one of these solutions that allows customers to shop and pay using the AmazonGO app in a cashierless store.

2 Responses

  1. One disadvantage, particularly given the current virus concerns coming out of China:

    That scanner is going to be covered in all sorts of bugs!

    Don’t believe me? Just watch people when you’re out and about. Picking their noses, coughing and sneezing, scratching themselves. And how many blokes do you see coming out of the pub toilets without washing their hands? Apparently, if you’ve only done a wee, it doesn’t count and you don’t have to wash. The dirty beggars.

    Fancy sticking your hand on a screen where they’ve had theirs, when you could be waving a contactless card at it instead?

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