Amazon is working on scanners that link handprints to credit cards


  • Amazon is working with credit card companies to create terminals that allow users to pay for items with biometric data from their handprint, the WSJ reported.
  • The online retailer has previously patented such technology, which was believed to be used in its Whole Food stores.
  • Amazon currently allows buyers of its Amazon Go grocery store to pay for items without ever going through a checkout process by downloading the Amazon Go app.
  • The technology could give Amazon more information about consumers’ spending habits, which could allow them to charge advertisers a higher rate.
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Amazon plans to create payment terminals that would allow shoppers to link a credit card to their own handprint, allowing them to pay in physical stores by simply swiping their hand over a scanner, according to a report released by The Wall on Saturday. Street. Newspaper.

The WSJ reported that discussions to create the handheld payment terminals are in their early stages, although Amazon has already started the development process with Visa and is in talks to work with MasterCard.

Amazon’s plans are the latest example of big tech encroachment on the financial sector. In 2014, Apple began offering Apple Pay, a service that allows users to pay by tapping their phones or watching on an NFC reader. Last year, the company partnered with Goldman Sachs to launch Apple Card.

A previous Business Insider report in November 2019 detailed Google’s plan to allow users to open

verify accounts
– as part of a partnership with Citigroup and Stanford Federal Credit Union. These plans are expected to materialize later this year, according to the report.

JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, and Synchrony Financial have discussed linking their cardholder’s accounts with Amazon Palm payment technology, although, as the WSJ noted, card companies are trying to determine if companies like Amazon, Apple and Google intend to work. as collaborators or competitors. Some companies fear that in the long run these tech giants could take them out of the equation altogether, according to the WSJ report.

Card issuers also have other concerns, such as how customers might store multiple cards using their biometric fingerprint and how they might choose between cards when making a payment. Companies are also said to be concerned about how Amazon prevents a thief from linking a stolen card to their own handprint, according to the WSJ report.

Another hurdle, the Wall Street Journal noted, will be allaying consumer concerns about providing more personal data, in this case biometric data, to big tech companies amid the myriad of industry scandals. According to the Wall Street Journal, by working with well-established card issuers, Amazon hopes to gain their knowledge and resources to keep consumers safe.

As the Wall Street Journal noted, this is also not Amazon’s first foray into unique payment methods. In its Amazon Go grocery stores, customers log into an app on their phones, then sensors in the store track the items customers pick up. Customers can leave the store without ever paying physically, as they are automatically billed when they pick up items from the store.

This is not the first time that Amazon has hinted at such plans. In December 2019, Amazon patented technology that would allow the company to identify individuals through their handprint, detecting unique identifiers such as wrinkles, folds, and bone structure. The New York Post said such technology could be used in Amazon’s Whole Food stores.

At the time, Recode reported that the patent could also be useful in Amazon Go stores, as it could allow consumers to shop without having to download the Amazon Go app on their phones, although Saturday’s report of the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon’s intentions with the scanners go beyond their own markets.

Sources close to the project told the Wall Street Journal that the data collected, including where and when people shop, will be stored on Amazon’s servers. This could allow Amazon to market products to consumers using their physical shopping habits. The Wall Street Journal, in turn, said Amazon may charge advertisers higher prices because they have more information about consumers’ buying behavior.

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