Amazon is reportedly working to create payment terminals where shoppers can connect their credit card information to their hand print, allowing them to check out from brick-and-mortar stores with a wave.
The multi-billion dollar company plans to offer services to fast-food restaurants, coffee shops and other places that have frequent repeat customers, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The plans for the terminals are in the early stages, but Amazon began working with Visa Inc. to test transactions on the terminals and is in discussions with Mastercard Inc.
WSJ says that Amazon imagines customers linking their debit or credit cards information to checkout terminals and then letting the devices scan their hands.
The company is said to be weighing options on to successfully implement the method, including customers inserting their card into a terminal and then allowing their hands to be scanned.
After that, customers would only need to place their hands over the checkout terminal to purchase items.
Amazon recently filed a patent for a ‘non-contact biometric identification system’ that incorporates ‘a hand scanner that generates images of a user’s palm.’
Amazon’s latest alleged venture marks another instance of big tech wading into the financial industry.
Apple began offering Apple Pay, a service that allows customers to pay with a NFC chip on their phone or wallet, in 2014 and the company introduced a credit card last year.
In November 2019, Google announced plans to create checking accounts for users in partnership with Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union.
Amazon has previously encroached into finance operations by launching Amazon Pay in 2017 and allowing shoppers at Amazon stores to walk out without paying.
Meanwhile card companies are figuring out if Amazon intends to collaborate or compete against them for customer attention.
Some companies believe it’s safer to work with tech giants like Amazon, than be left out completely from innovations.
On Amazon’s part, the company wants card companies’ knowledge on safegaurding consumers’ card accounts.
JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Synchrony Financial have shown interest in enabling card accounts to link with terminals, according to sources familiar with the project.
Still, Amazon would need to convince card issuers and networks of certain concerns, including how terminals would detect fraud.
They’re also wondering how customers would add more than one account to their hands and how people could chose which card to use when they pay.
Amazon has said it could blacklist people who attempt to game the system, but that may not stop frauds from making a one-time purchase of electronics or other expensive merchandise.
They will also need to win over customers who are skeptical of providing personal financial information and successfully quell fears from regulators who are becoming increasingly wary of big tech.
Data that would enter terminals, like where consumers shop and when, would be stored in Amazon’s cloud, according to WSJ.
The company reportedly wants to integrate this data with Amazon.com spending, in a move that could allow Amazon to charge advertisers higher prices because they could better predict what customers are likely to buy.
New York Post reported that Amazon was testing a payment system that would let individuals purchase goods from Amazon’s Whole Food chain with their hands.
In the past, Amazon had little success with another payment venture pitching brick-and-mortar stores on accepting it’s Amazon Pay digital wallet.
But merchants didn’t want to remind consumers about Amazon and encourage them to buy there instead.
Amazon has not yet publicly announced any plans to install the terminals.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Lauren Edmonds