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Amazon releases new cashless "pay by palm" technology that requires only a hand wave

Amazon is taking cashless payments to another level.

In a new rollout, the tech giant is giving customers another contactless way to pay for groceries — with their palms.

In a statement Thursday, Amazon announced that the palm recognition service, called Amazon One, will be used for payment, identification, loyalty membership, and entry at over 500 Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh locations across the nation by the end of the year.

Instead of pulling out a credit card or even a phone for Apple Pay, subscribing customers will simply have to hover their palms over an Amazon One device to pay. And if you are already a Prime member, you can link your membership with Amazon One to apply any savings or benefits to your purchase as well.

The technology is already available at 200 locations across 20 U.S. states including Arizona, California, Idaho, Oregon and Mississippi.

"By end of year, you won't need your wallet to pay when checking out at any of the 500+ U.S. @WholeFoods," Amazon CEO Andy Jassy tweeted.

But you don't just have to shop at Whole Foods to take advantage of the convenient new technology. According to the statement, many other businesses are implementing Amazon One as a payment, identification and secure entry tool.

Panera Bread, for example, has adopted the technology so that customers can simply wave their hands above the device in order to pull up their MyPanera loyalty account information and pay for their meals.

At Coors Field stadium in Colorado, customers trying to purchase alcoholic beverages can hover their palms over the Amazon One device to verify they are 21 or older.

According to the company, palm payment is secure and cannot be replicated because the technology looks at both the palm and the underlying vein structure to create unique "palm signatures" for each customer. Each palm signature is associated with a numerical vector representation and is securely stored in the AWS cloud, Amazon said.

A palm is the safest biometric to use because you cannot identify a person by it, Amazon said. The tech company assured customers that their palm data will not be shared with third parties, including "in response to government demands."

In order to register a palm, an Amazon customer can pre-enroll online with a credit or debit card, Amazon account and phone number, and then complete the enrollment process by scanning their palm anywhere an Amazon One device is in use.

"We are always looking for new ways to delight our customers and improve the shopping experience," Leandro Balbinot, chief technology officer at Whole Foods Market, said. "Since we've introduced Amazon One at Whole Foods Market stores over the past two years, we've seen that customers love the convenience it provides."

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