Amazon lets users buy alcohol with its palm-scanning payment system

Technology

Amazon One connects a shopper’s palm to their credit card, letting them pay without waiting in line.
Amazon

Amazon is adding a feature to its palm-based payment system that will allow users to buy alcohol by swiping their hand.

The system, called Amazon One, lets people pay for items by placing their palm over a scanning device. To purchase alcohol, users have to upload a government-issued ID on the Amazon One website, the company wrote in a blog post on Monday. Amazon said it doesn’t store user IDs and that a third-party provider verifies the documentation.

Bartenders will be able to verify that an Amazon One user is of age via a “21+” message that appears when they use the device, and by doing a “visual match” of the user with a user-uploaded photo that shows on the screen, according to the blog post.

Amazon introduced its palm-swiping technology in 2020, framing the system as a means of making customers’ shopping experience faster and more efficient. It has introduced Amazon One in some of its Fresh supermarket and Go convenience stores, along with select Whole Foods locations. Sports and entertainment venues have also adopted the technology, while Panera Bread began testing Amazon One at two of its restaurants earlier this year.

To start, the Coors Field baseball stadium in Denver, Colorado, will let attendees use Amazon One to purchase alcohol, Amazon said.

Amazon One and other payment systems that use biometric data have faced some pushback from privacy advocates. Amazon argues palm recognition is more private than other biometric systems “because you can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm.”

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