Journalist tries new biometric palm reader: Says she was skeptical, but convenience is winning her over


Important Takeaways:

  • I tried paying with my palm at Whole Foods using Amazon’s futuristic scanners. It was scarily convenient.
  • Over the summer, Amazon announced that it would be rolling out its palm-scanning payment technology to every one of its 500+ Whole Foods locations in the US by the end of the year.
  • As someone who writes about tech, I figured it was my duty to try it out in the name of journalism.
  • The palm-recognition system works by linking a user’s payment information with their unique palm print.
  • At Whole Foods, you just hover your palm over the reader once you’re ready to pay and the system will find your Prime account, apply any discounts, and charge the credit card you enrolled with.
  • Amazon One also gives the option to link your government ID to your account so you can use your palm to pay for age-restricted purchases without being carded.
  • I was initially skeptical of the tech — and I definitely still am. After all, there’s something about giving up a scan of one of your body parts that feels inherently vulnerable.
  • The more I keep using the tech, the more I have mixed feelings by how convenient it feels. Does anyone really need to have a biometric payment option at the grocery store? Definitely not. After all, we can already pay pretty easily with the tap of a card or phone.
  • But does it make breezing through self-checkout just a little bit more streamlined? Yes. And while I hate to admit it, I think it might be winning me over.

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