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Whole Foods Market to Adopt Palm Payment Tech Chainwide

Amazon One coming to all 500+ U.S. stores
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Whole Foods Markets in Austin to Pay By Palm
For Prime members who link their Amazon One profile with their Amazon account, savings will automatically be applied.

Whole Foods Market is upping its commitment to palm payments. The Amazon-owned grocer has revealed that it will offer Amazon One at all of its 500-plus U.S. stores by the end of the year. This means that Whole Foods 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 to pay for their items.

We are always looking for new ways to delight our customers and improve the shopping experience,” said Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer at Whole Foods. “Since we’ve introduced Amazon One at Whole Foods Market stores over the past two years, we’ve seen that customers love the convenience it provides, and we’re excited to bring Amazon One to all of our customers across the U.S.”

[Read more: "Whole Foods Market Historic Walter Reed Store Finally Opens"]

Amazon One is currently available at more than 200 Whole Foods locations across the United States. The technology will continue to be rolled out to the rest of the chains stores over the coming months.

First-time Amazon One users can pre-enroll online with their credit or debit card, Amazon account and mobile number, and the process takes about a minute. They can then complete the enrollment process in seconds by scanning their palm over an Amazon One device the next time they visit a participating Whole Foods store — or anywhere Amazon One is available. Once enrolled, Amazon Prime members will automatically see savings and other Prime member benefits applied to their Whole Foods store purchases. Alternatively, customers can also enroll in Amazon One in the store at an Amazon One device with their credit card and phone number.

In Demand

In addition to Amazon One’s availability at stores like Amazon Fresh stores and Whole Foods Market locations, third-party businesses are increasingly offering Amazon One as an identification and payment option for their customers — and some of them are also using Amazon One in new ways.

For example, the bakery-café chain Panera Bread recently launched Amazon One’s loyalty linking capability at select restaurants. With this feature, customers can simply hover their palm over the Amazon One device, and the Panera associate will be able to pull up their MyPanera loyalty account information, greet the customer by name and provide a customized experience. After the order is placed, the customer can scan their palm again to pay.

At Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies MLB team, Aramark Sports + Entertainment is taking advantage of Amazon One’s “age verification” capability. This feature allows adult customers age 21 and over to purchase alcoholic beverages by simply scanning their palm at an Amazon One device without looking for their government-issued IDs.

Amazon One can also be found in airport stores and several grocery and convenience stores.

The Technology 

Amazon One uses multiple characteristics of a palm to identify each person who uses the service. When a customer holds their palm over the Amazon One device, the technology evaluates various aspects of the palm to identify that it’s that person. Cameras in the hardware capture surface-area details like lines and ridges, as well as subcutaneous features such as vein patterns. No two palms are alike, so the technology analyzes multiple attributes and selects the most distinct identifiers to create a customer’s unique palm signature.

While a persons palm and vein patterns are permanent, the digital palm signature Amazon uses for identification is not. Unlike a credit card or password, a customer’s Amazon One palm signature can’t be replicated to impersonate them. This is because Amazon One doesnt use raw palm images to identify a person. Instead, it looks at both palm and underlying vein structure to create a unique numerical vector representation — the palm signature — for identity matching.

Customer palm data is safeguarded in the AWS Cloud. AWS is backed by more than 300 cloud security tools and 100,000 security partners from around the world. In addition, the company said that Amazon One is protected by multiple security controls and has tamper-detection capabilities that will render the device unusable if meddled with. 

According to the company, Amazon One palm data isnt used by Amazon for marketing purposes, and it wont be bought by or sold to other companies for advertising, marketing  or any other reason. When used at third-party locations, Amazon doesn’t track what customers do or buy after entering the location. The company said that data isnt associated with a customers biometric identity.

The first certified-organic national grocer, Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods has more than 500 stores in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Seattle-based Amazon, which is No. 2 on The PG 100, Progressive Grocer’s 2023 list of top food and consumables retailers in North America. Both Whole Foods and Amazon were named as PG's Retailers of the Century

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