HERE COMES 666! PAY BY PALM COMING SOON TO PANERA BREAD; biometric scanners/payment system was introduced during the coronavirus pandemic
Amazon may be closing a number of its high-tech physical retail stores in recent days, but some of the technology it developed for those stores is finding a new home. The online retailer said today that Panera will now become the first restaurant to deploy Amazon’s palm reading payment and loyalty system, known as Amazon One, in its own stores, allowing its customers to both pay as well as access the chain’s loyalty program.
Currently, Panera has the Amazon One system deployed at two cafes in its hometown of St. Louis, but Amazon says the system will expand to other locations in the months ahead. Panera tells us this includes additional cafes in the St. Louis area and other Seattle markets to start. By year-end, it expects to have 10 to 20 locations live with the technology.
Leveraging computer vision technology, the Amazon One system creates a unique palm print for each customer, which Amazon then associates with a credit card the customer inserts in the sign-up kiosk upon initial setup. If the customer also has an Amazon account, that is also associated with their Amazon One profile information. The palm print images are encrypted and secured in the cloud when the plan signatures are created.
When it first launched in 2020, Amazon had argued that palm prints were a more private form of biometric authentication compared with other methods, because you wouldn’t be able to determine someone’s identity from their palm print image alone. Of course, Amazon wasn’t only storing palm images; it was also matching them to customer accounts and credit cards, building a database of customer info combined with biometrics. This system could then be used to introduce highly personalized offers and recommendations over time.
The biometric payment system itself was introduced during the pandemic, taking advantage of the increased interest in contactless payments. However, there was some concern the system wouldn’t make sense in the pandemic era, as some customers wore gloves when shopping, which would have to be removed, while others may have accidentally pressed their hands to the palm reader by mistake, spreading germs.
But the system continued to roll out in 2021 to a number of Amazon’s own retail locations, including its Amazon Go convenience stores, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books, and Amazon 4-star stores. Soon thereafter, U.S. lawmakers reached out to Amazon to determine what its plans were for such a large-scale collection of palm print biometric data.
Source:TechCrunch, Sarah Perez
To read more, click here: https://techcrunch.com/2023/03/22/amazons-palm-reading-payments-tech-is-coming-to-panera-bread/