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Whole Foods Market Customers in Texas to Pay by Palm

Amazon One technology debuts in new market area
Marian Zboraj, Progressive Grocer
Whole Foods Markets in Austin to Pay By Palm
Whole Food Market customers in Austin, Texas, can simply hold their palm above the Amazon One device to pay for groceries.

The Texas city of Austin has become the first region outside the Seattle area where Whole Foods Market is offering the palm recognition service Amazon One as a payment option. The Arbor Trails Whole Foods store is the initial location in the Austin area to allow shoppers to pay with just a scan of their palm.

Customer enrollment in the Amazon One service takes less than a minute, which involves linking credit/debit card info and creating palm signatures for one or both palms. A palm signature is created when a customer holds their palm over the Amazon One device, allowing the technology to evaluate multiple aspects of the palm. With no two palms alike, vision technology analyzes all aspects to select the most distinct identifiers on a palm to create a unique palm signature.

Once they’re enrolled and done shopping, customers come to the checkout counter or point of sale, hover their hand over the Amazon One device for about a second or so, and the card linked to their palm will be charged for their purchase. Customers don’t have to worry about fumbling with their wallets and handbags anymore to pull out credit cards at checkout counters.

“Amazon One is all about making everyday activities, like paying at a store, easier and more convenient for customers,” said Thi Luu, director of product management at Amazon Physical Retail Technology. “By signing up for Amazon One with a credit or debit card, customers have the option to simply pay with their palm and get through checkout faster. We built Amazon One to offer a quick, reliable and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day.” 

Safeguarding customer privacy is a foundational design principle for the palm recognition service. The Amazon One device is protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area the company custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud where it creates palm signatures.

In addition to the first store location at Arbor Trails, Amazon One is slated to be added to all seven Whole Foods Market locations in the Austin area in the coming weeks. This includes the Whole Foods Market stores at Domain, East Austin, Lamar, Gateway, Bee Cave and Cedar Park.

Meanwhile, for a totally frictionless checkout experience, Amazon also offers its Just Walk Out technology. Just Walk Out shopping is available in Amazon Fresh and Whole Food Market stores in such locations as Virginia and Washington D.C.

Seattle-based Amazon is No. 2 on Progressive Grocer’s 2021 list of the top food and consumables retailers in North America, while Austin, Texas-based Whole Foods, a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon, is No. 26 on PG’s list.

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