On Tuesday, e-commerce giant Amazon Inc introduced Amazon One, a new payment system for its retail outlets in the US.
In its blog, the company described the innovation as "a fast, convenient, contactless way for people to use their palm to make everyday activities like paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work more effortless. The service is designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person's unique palm signature."
The new mode of payment has been introduced in two of the "Amazon Go" stores in Seattle, US.
Explaining the process of the registration and payment system, the blog explained that customers can sign up at these Amazon Go stores using an Amazon One device in less than a minute.
"The first step is to insert your credit card. Next, hover your palm over the device and follow the prompts to associate that card with the unique palm signature being built for you by our computer vision technology in real time. You'll have the option to enroll with just one palm or both. And that's it-you're now signed up," it said.
"Once you're enrolled, to use Amazon One to enter these Amazon Go stores, you'll just hold your palm above the Amazon One device at entry for about a second or so, and be on your way. It's that simple," it added.
In the FAQs segment of the blog on Amazon One, the company explained that the palm recognition was considered as a biometric aid for payment as it is "considered more private than some biometric alternatives because you can't determine a person's identity by looking at an image of their palm," adding that for making a payment, the person will have to make an intentional gesture over the device to activate the payment.
Talking about the protection of such biometric data collected, Amazon said that it takes "data security and privacy seriously" adding that the Amazon One device is protected by multiple security controls and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. "Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area we custom-built in the cloud where we create your palm signature," it said.