Amazon wants you to pay for shopping using your palm

(Image credit: Amazon)

Paying for your shopping could be set to change forever after Amazon unveiled a new way to pay.

The company has taken the wraps of its Amazon One palm scanning technology, which it says can offer a faster and more secure way to pay for your purchases in store.

Amazon One is able to take a detailed image of your palm alongside vein pattern scans to create a super-secure "palm signature" that should mean only you are able to get access to your goods.

Amazon One

Amazon One will initially be used in the company's Go stores in Seattle, with a roll-out to other Amazon stores in the US expected in the next few months. The company says it is in discussions with "several potential customers" about further launches in the future.

Customers can try out the new system, which does not require an Amazon account to use, now. Anyone looking to register has to enter a payment card at an Amazon One kiosk, then follow on-screen instructions to link their palm print.

Amazon says that it envisages the new platform as becoming an alternate payment or loyalty card option, with an Amazon One device at the checkout counter next to a traditional point of sale system. 

However it notes that the system could have "broad applicability beyond our retail stores", with other uses including entering a location or scanning into work instead of needing to use an ID card.

Palm scanning technology has been around for some time, with Fujitsu having several generations of scanners available right now. The technology is thought to be around as secure as other biometric checks such as retina scans or fingerprinting, as a person's individual vein patterns are quite hard to falsify.

Amazon has not provided much exact detail on how its system will operate, but appears to have built the platform in house, saying it will use "custom-built algorithms and hardware" to carry out scans. It says that a palm scan was chosen as it involves performing an "intentional gesture" by holding their hand over the scanner, making it less likely to be done in error.

The company added that palm scans are encrypted and kept securely in the cloud rather than being stored on site at individual stores, with customers able to delete their data if they choose.

Mike Moore
Deputy Editor, TechRadar Pro

Mike Moore is Deputy Editor at TechRadar Pro. He has worked as a B2B and B2C tech journalist for nearly a decade, including at one of the UK's leading national newspapers and fellow Future title ITProPortal, and when he's not keeping track of all the latest enterprise and workplace trends, can most likely be found watching, following or taking part in some kind of sport.