Call it one of the evolutions out of Covid-19. Yes, no one wants to touch anything. And if you can avoid a credit card swipe, even better. So, the latest news is that Amazon has created a way for people to pay with waving their palms. Of course, that palm has to be linked to a loaded bank or credit card account. The system simply uses the biometrics on the palm to validate the payer and allows payment to go through.
Amazon has been working on making cashiers redundant for years, and that effort just got one step closer. This week the e-retail giant introduced Amazon One, allowing customers at its Amazon Go stores to pay with a scan of their palm prints, which is linked to a credit card on file (read how it works here). The innovation could allow for more shopping convenience but raises privacy concerns around allowing a major corporation to collect biometric data. It also begs the question of what happens to the millions of Americans employed as cashiers.
To all the privacy advocates, as I say, you are fighting a lost battle because humans are increasingly “un-privacytizing” themselves at scale. And they seem to be fine with that trajectory. A few decades ago, resumes were confidential documents, today, here we are on LinkedIn. When you count that people stream when they are brushing teeth on YouTube, you get the idea.
Now, Amazon takes it to another level: drop the plastics, we have got palms. Why not like a world without card plastics?
I predict in 10 years, most will ask for a biochip on their foreheads so that the palm can be playing games on their phones while the forehead does the paying. But note one thing: wave hand, show foreheads, etc the bank account must be loaded for the payment to go through. Not sure any invention is coming soon to override that requirement!