Amazon introduces palm-scanning technology that would let customers buy a beer without reaching for their wallet at the bar

  • Amazon has announced that its Amazon One feature will soon be used to purchase alcohol.

  • The technology allows customers to have their age and payment information accessed by their palm.

  • The new technology will first be introduced at the Coors Field in Denver.

One day, you may soon be able to leave for a night out without your wallet or purse as Amazon has launched a "palm-based identity service" that scans your hand to pay for alcohol.

On May 22, the tech giant announced that Amazon One, a scanner that can identify people based on their palm and allow them to make payments without reaching into their wallets, can now verify a person's age. The change would make purchasing alcohol at places like bars and ballgames a more seamless experience, per the announcement. Amazon's palm scanners are currently in use at its Go stores and in more than 100 Whole Foods stores around the US, The Verge reported.

Those who wish to sign up for the new technology must upload a selfie, pictures of the front and back of their government-issued ID. According to the announcement, the company does not store customers' IDs. The idea is to make it a simpler process to verify their age when buying a drink. The scanner analyzes surface details of an individual's palm and pulling up a "21+" message along with a selfie of the customer.

The company plans to showcase Amazon One's new feature at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team, at the stadium's SandLot Brewery and Silver Bullet Bar, according the announcement.

"Hearing from Amazon One customers across the country, we understand that they love the convenience it delivers: shorter wait times, quick access to buildings and locations, being able to link their loyalty memberships, and now an easy way to grab their beer," John McKay, senior director of food service operations and development for the Colorado Rockies, said.

While large ballparks, which experience long lines of customers, could stand to benefit from a more frictionless process, one bar owner isn't convinced the technology is fully necessary at the average neighborhood bar.

Palm scanning could change critical bar interactions

Matt Hogan, the owner of Brooklyn's Irish Haven for the past 12 years, told Insider that the benefits of Amazon One depend on the volume of customers a bar receives. Irish Haven was a cash-only bar for decades before introducing digital payments in 2020, so Hogan is hesitant to implement palm payments and age verification.

Amazon One, Hogan said, could eliminate an important conversation between a bartender and patrons to determine if a person has been drinking prior to visiting his bar.

"When someone presents an ID, there's an exchange of, sort of, vetting that that person hasn't been over served somewhere else," Hogan said. "You learn a lot about a person in that first 10 to 20 seconds."

"Automation would take that away from me. That would be a lost asset," Hogan added.

In 2022, Amazon's falter with brick-and-mortar stores led the retail giant to shift its focus to licensing its cashierless technology to third-party retailers.

Read the original article on Business Insider