Whole Foods Adds Amazon’s Palm-Paying Tech to Select Stores

The launch marks Amazon’s first broad rollout of the technology.

August 11, 2022

ALEXANDRIA, Va.—Amazon is launching Amazon One at more than 65 Whole Food Markets in California, reports Los Angeles Daily News. Amazon is a palm-recognition technology that allows customers to pay with a wave of their hand.

The California-launch marks Amazon’s first broad rollout of the technology. The company tested Amazon One pay in Seattle, Austin and certain stores in Los Angeles and New York.

The palm-recognition service is integrated with Amazon’s “Just Walk Out” technology that is available at Amazon Fresh locations, reports the Daily News. Just Walk Out technology allows customers to enter the store using Amazon One, a code on their phone or their credit card. Sensors and cameras note what customers take out of the store and charges their account when they exit.

Amazon launched Amazon One in September 2020. Along with payment, the service also can be used for presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium or badging into work. The technology is “designed to be highly secure and uses custom-built algorithms and hardware to create a person’s unique palm signature,” said Amazon.

According to Burt P. Flickinger III, managing director for the retail consulting firm Strategic Resource Group, consumers’ buying habits have been altered because Amazon, as a whole, makes shopping quicker and easier.

“Forty-five to 46% of consumers are shopping less at conventional grocery stores,” he told the Daily News. “And they’re typically buying more products because now they have more time.”

Ninety percent of people used unattended retail as much as they had prior to the pandemic or more during the pandemic, and more convenience retailers are exploring ways to eliminate friction for customers, including skipping the checkout line.

Last December, bp partnered with Grabango to integrate checkout-free technology into seven ampm stores in Northern California and three Amoco locations in Western Pennsylvania. MAPCO is launching checkout-free services in two Tennessee stores by fall 2022, and Circle K partnered with Standard AI to install an AI-powered checkout-free system in one of its stores in Tempe, Arizona.

Choice Market convenience stores in Denver offer self-checkout, walkout technology and an app, which all sync and communicate with each other. In early 2022, Choice c-stores and St. Louis-based Health Hospitality Partners partnered to create the first autonomous markets in a health-care setting.

NACS offers a free webinar on self-checkout innovations at c-stores. Pre- and post-pay fuel transactions, loyalty, cash payments and age verification are also discussed.

Read more about frictionless checkout systems in “Self-Checkout Strategies” in the March issue of NACS Magazine.