Amazon Pursuing Pay-With-Your-Hand Biometric Checkout Technology

Amazon latest expansion into the consumer biosphere will enable brick-and-mortar shoppers to pay for purchases with a mere wave – or scan – of their hand.

The Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon is creating a system of hand-scanning terminals for retailers, with a focus on venues like coffee shops with lots of return customers.

Those consumers who want to move beyond Google Wallet and Apple Pay to the next realm would set themselves up for pay-by-hand by initializing a link between a debit or credit card and their unique handprint, according to the WSJ, explaining it might involve putting a card in a terminal, and creating a hand scan linked to that card. After that, the hand pays.

Amazon is working with Visa and Mastercard on the hand-scan terminal process, according to WSJ, adding it recently filed a patent application for a “non-contact biometric identification system” that includes “a hand scanner that generates images of a user’s palm.”

CNBC noted how the advance meshes with Amazon’s increasing push into financial services, including an expansion of Amazon Go stores, where consumers make purchases without a checkout process, as well as Amazon Pay, the voice service.

Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos comes from a background in the financial world, having worked for the hedge fund D.E. Shaw. So far, neither Bezos nor Amazon is commenting on the pay-by-hand plans. The company reports its fourth quarter results on Jan. 30.

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