Amazon is offering $10 in promotional credit to get people to sign up to its palm print payments system. Our sister site TechCrunch spotted the promotional offer and shared a screenshot of it, which you can peep below. The retailer launched Amazon One last fall as a contactless way of authenticating purchases and allowing entry into stores using a biometric device. In this case, a palm scanner. With surface hygiene a major concern during the pandemic, the move made sense.
Since then, Amazon has expanded the system to 53 of its physical retail spots in places including New York, New Jersey, Maryland and Texas. You can find the tech at Amazon Go convenience stores, Whole Foods Market, Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star stores and Amazon Pop Ups.
Shoppers can enroll on Amazon One at those sites by pairing their credit card and mobile number with one or both of their palm signatures. The sign-up process is the only part that requires you to touch the device. After that, you just hover your palm over the scanner to enter a store and complete purchases. The promotion also requires you to link your Amazon account with your One ID.
The limited number of Amazon One locations means that the promo will be restricted to a small circle of users. But, if Amazon gets its way, the system may be hard to avoid in a contactless, check-out free future. It's already begun discussions to offer the tech to third-party retailers.
Of course, the idea of handing over more data (especially biometric information) to Amazon may not sit right with some people. Chances are, a $10 voucher won't sway the naysayers put off by the horror stories around Amazon's facial recognition tech and Alexa voice recordings.
But, Amazon is aware of the privacy concerns the device raises. To assuage those fears, the company has promised to secure palm data using encryption, data isolation and dedicated secure zones with restricted access controls. For those worried their data could be monetized, it also committed to keeping palm data separate from other Amazon customer data.
The company says that a subset of "anonymous" palm data is used to improve its system and this data is "protected using multiple layers of security controls." Amazon has also pledged to delete the data if you cancel your Amazon One ID and if you haven't interacted with one of its palm scanners for two years.