Whole Foods in Austin offers pay by palm payment option

The next time you head to the Arbor Trails Whole Foods Market in Austin, you can leave your wallet and purse at home and just use the palm of your hand to pay. 

The Arbor Trails store is the first Whole Foods Market location in the Austin area to get Amazon One, Amazon's palm recognition service. Austin is also the first region outside the Seattle area where this is being offered as a payment option.

"Amazon One is all about making everyday activities, like paying at a store, easier and more convenient for customers," said Thi Luu, Director of Product Management, Amazon Physical Retail Technology. "We built Amazon One to offer a quick, reliable, and secure way for people to identify themselves or authorize a transaction while moving seamlessly through their day,"

"I accidentally leave the house without money or my credit cards all the time, and, you know, sometimes you just need something in a pinch so that would be cool," said Shalyn Vukich, visiting Austin from Pennsylvania.

However, some people like Terence Douglas, who is a frequent Whole Foods shopper, says he is not too sure about the idea of just using your palm to pay for things.

"I think it's already easy enough. I pay with my watch and I pay with my phone. As long as there's not anything that's going to have to be added like a microchip or anything like that, I think it's ok, but it's a little bit, I don't know, it's a little uncomfortable to me," said Douglas.

Officials say that Amazon One is planned to be added to all seven Whole Foods Market locations in the Austin area in the coming weeks. This includes Whole Foods Market stores at The Domain, East Austin, Lamar, Gateway, Bee Cave, and Cedar Park.


Amazon One says it is very easy to use and takes less than a minute to enroll. Once you’ve registered, each time you need to confirm your ID or pay, you’ll just hold your palm above the device for about a second or so, and be on your way. 

When you hold your palm over the Amazon One device, the technology evaluates multiple aspects of your palm. No two palms are alike, so Amazon One analyzes all these aspects with vision technology and selects the most distinct identifiers on your palm to create your palm signature.

If you're worried about privacy, Amazon One says safeguarding customer privacy is one of its foundational design principles. Officials say the Amazon One device is protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. Rather, the images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud where the unique palm signature is created.

SUBSCRIBE: Daily Newsletter | YouTube
FOLLOW: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter