Amazon Eyes Hand-Recognition Payment System

The retail giant has plans to allow consumers to link credit card data to their hands.

January 22, 2020

SEATTLE—Pay with a wave of your hand might be more than a magician’s trick soon if has its way. The retailer is working on checkout kiosks that accept a handprint for payment for customers who tie their financial information to their palms, the Wall Street Journal reports. The company has plans to sell the terminal to fast-food restaurants, coffee shops and other retailers with frequent shoppers.

Other tech companies have dabbled in finance, including Apple’s credit card and Google offering checking accounts. Amazon has been testing payments at Amazon Go and expanding Amazon Pay to online merchants not owned by the company.

The hand terminals are still in development, with Amazon working with Visa on testing transactions. The retailer also has started discussing the issue with Mastercard and other card issuers such as Wells Fargo & Co., Synchrony Financial and JPMorgan Chase.

Recently, Amazon filed a patent application for a “non-contact biometric identification system.” The patent description included “a hand scanner that generates images of a user’s palm.” Data from the terminals would end up on Amazon’s cloud, providing more information for the retailer to mine about consumer spending, etc.