Amazon Pushes Ahead With Payment Terminals That Use Your Hand As ID

Back in September of last year, Amazon was rumored to be working on a new payment system for its Whole Foods stores that would allow customers to pay using their hands instead of an actual payment card.

At the time, details about the new system were unclear, and WSJ is now revealing some more details on the technology. Amazon is reportedly pushing ahead with the new system, though it will no longer limit the tech to Whole Foods.

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Instead, the company is developing payment terminals that can be placed in any shop, with Amazon planning to promote the tech to coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, etc.

Amazon is also apparently working with Visa to test transactions on the payment terminals, and it’s expected to get in talks with Mastercard as well. The company has also discussed the project with card issuers like JPMorgan Chase.

The company recently filed a patent application for what could be the heart of the new system, describing it as a “non-contact biometric identification system” that is powered by “a hand scanner that generates images of a user’s palm.”

The technology here is obviously very interesting — contactless payments have already made payments incredibly easier, and being able to pay with your hand will take things to the next level. But for now, Amazon still has some other issues to figure out — including how the terminals would detect fraud.

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Conversation 11 comments

  • sherlockholmes

    Premium Member
    19 January, 2020 - 12:22 am

    <p>More data that Amazon can collect from me. No thanks. </p>

  • sherlockholmes

    Premium Member
    19 January, 2020 - 5:45 am

    <p>"contactless payments" is also a hoax. You need to hold your smartphone or your creditcard to the terminalIn every way there is somesort of contact. </p>

    • jchampeau

      Premium Member
      19 January, 2020 - 8:52 am

      <blockquote><em><a href="#514314">In reply to SherlockHolmes:</a></em></blockquote><p>It doesn't have to touch for payment to be made.</p>

      • sherlockholmes

        Premium Member
        19 January, 2020 - 9:59 pm

        <blockquote><em><a href="#514327">In reply to jchampeau:</a></em></blockquote><p>You need to hold your creditcard or your smartphone to a terminal. I didnt say you need a physical contact. But there is some sort of contact. So it isnt "contactless". </p>

        • jchampeau

          Premium Member
          20 January, 2020 - 9:24 am

          <blockquote><em><a href="#514427">In reply to SherlockHolmes:</a></em></blockquote><p>Well, Sherlock, the Google dictionary defines contact as "<span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34);">The state or condition of physical touching." Holding one object near another does not constitute contact. Payments can be made without contact. Therefore, contactless payments are a real thing and not a hoax as you suggest. Elementary.</span></p>

  • red.radar

    Premium Member
    19 January, 2020 - 5:51 pm

    <p>God help the people that are in witness protection.</p><p><br></p><p>hello mr smith or shall we say mr price (wink wink).</p><p><br></p><p>how is the information secured ? I suppose much the same ways that Apple does Face ID. </p><p><br></p><p><br></p>

  • chaad_losan

    19 January, 2020 - 8:37 pm

    <p>The sign of the apocalypse! </p>

  • max daru

    19 January, 2020 - 9:51 pm

    <p>Fujitsu has had similar tech for years that seems functionally identical. Why not just license that?</p>

  • waethorn

    20 January, 2020 - 10:56 am

    <p>Wow Amazon. Gattaca much?</p>

  • CompUser

    20 January, 2020 - 2:17 pm

    <p>More technology for the sake of technology, with no real need or (probably) demand. This whole thing is just getting stupid, and people really should be concerned about the direction technology is going in regards to security and privacy. I know I am, but that probably just makes me an alarmist, and not just someone who is concerned about my diminishing privacy.</p>

  • Jeffsters

    30 January, 2020 - 9:09 am

    <p>Any retailer that allows Amazon to mine their customers data, collect shopping habits and behavior, has only themselves to blame when Amazon later steals their business. Amazon doesn’t do anything that doesn’t directly collect or enable collection of consumer data. To all the retailers out there I offer that Chinese proverb “Those who foolishly seek power by riding on the back of a tiger often end up inside”. </p>

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