Plastic cards tried to make paper cash a thing of the past and phones are now trying to return the favor. All of these payment systems, however, have one thing in common. They all require you to carry something with you, something you could potentially lose. Your hand, on the other hand, is always by your side (hopefully) which is why Amazon is reportedly looking into technology that will let people pay with just their palm.
You might think that it’s actually quite inconvenient to place your palm on a scanner compared to something like a finger, which is another part of your body that is hopefully always attached. It turns out, however, that palm vein recognition may be more secure and more reliable than fingerprints. Except hand scanners are difficult or nearly impossible to install on mobile devices or even computers. Amazon’s use case, however, is almost the perfect setting for the technology.
Amazon has already been reported to be considering a palm-based payment system especially with its purchase of Whole Foods. A new report from the Wall Street Journal, however, reveals that Amazon’s grand plan isn’t limited to the grocer. The e-commerce giant is planning to make a pitch to coffee shops, fast-food, and other places where speed and convenience of payment are almost critical.
How the technology would work and be set up is still under consideration, with plans reported to be in their early stages. One possible scenario would require users to set up and link their cards with their hands on scanners, probably the very same terminals that will be used for payment later. All data, from the palm vein print to when and where transactions were made, would be stored on Amazon’s Cloud.
Presuming this payment system takes off, Amazon could gain a huge advantage over other players in both tech and financial industries. It could, of course, also rub financial institutions wrong, like how the Apple Card now seems to be ruffling Goldman Sach’s feathers. Amazon has a lot of work to do first, though, like proving the security of its technology and, just as important, convincing regulators and authorities it will play fairly with all the data it will then be collecting.