retail news in context, analysis with attitude

Amazon announced yesterday that it is expanding its Amazon One palm-reading payment technology to more than 65 Whole Foods store in California.

Previously, the technology only was available in select stores in Austin, Los Angeles, New York City and Seattle, as well as in a few Amazon Go and Amazon Fresh locations.  Amazon's new Style fashion store in Southern California also uses Amazon One tech.

Engadget offers the following assessment:

"So long as you link your palm and payment card to the service, you just have to hover your hand over a scanner to complete a purchase. While you still have to stop at a checkout terminal, you don't have to pull out a phone like you do with Amazon's camera-based Just Walk Out system.

"Third-party adoption may be trickier. While Amazon has touted plans to use One at concert venues and sport stadiums, there's been a mounting backlash over worries palm data could be misused or stolen. Amazon has maintained that it holds info in secure, One-exclusive cloud storage, but politicians have still been concerned enough to grill company leadership over its practices. There's a reluctance to trust biometric tech like this, and the Whole Foods expansion isn't guaranteed to assuage people's fears."

KC's View:

This is all about finding different ways to eliminate friction from the shopping experience.  There may be some privacy concerns to be addressed, but I think most people will embrace the opportunity to avoid lines and delays.