While Amazon is extending its palm print payment technology to the United States, the deployment of such a device is not about to happen in France.
“Pay by hand” is expanding to the United States. Now, 65 stores of the Whole Foods brand, owned by the Amazon group, are compatible with this process, the group announced on August 10. These devices had already been installed on an experimental basis by the company in a few convenience stores.
This time, the tech giant is convinced that waving your hand over a terminal is the future of payment.
To transform part of your body into a credit card, you have to create an Amazon One account on which you record the palm print which you then link to the bank identifiers. It is then enough to pass the hand above a device in the stores of the sign. Time saved at checkout? About ten seconds.
Registration is free. The group’s strategy is to provide this service freely to attract customers to its stores by assuring them that payment will be faster.
Amazon clarifies that the images of the hands are not stored locally; they are encrypted and sent to a dedicated cloud server. Added to household robots and connected doorbells, the group offers many services that collect personal data, which raises growing questions in terms of privacy security.
The hand remains a hand in Europe
Can we imagine the same use in France?
If we talk about Amazon’s technology, the group does not currently have any intention of deploying its flagship channels in France. Whole Foods and Amazon Go are currently limited to North America and the UK. As for signing up for Amazon One, it’s still restricted in the United States.
Understand: we will not see the payment terminals with the hand soon with us. Moreover, only Amazon offers this service, which further restricts the possibilities of seeing this technology land in other countries. On the other hand, other brands could take inspiration from the device and offer it one day in their own shops. To this, we must also take into account the regulatory terrain. In France, the GDPR regulates the use of any biometric device: fingerprint, facial recognition, etc. Before being able to invest in it, the company will have to ensure that the data of citizens will be untouchable.
Payment “by inch” is the use deployed by BNP Paribas that comes closest to this technology. The option, developed in partnership with Thales, is used to make contactless payments to spend more than 50 euros, without having to type the card code somewhere. The thumbprint is stored in the card.
It is a less dematerialized approach than Amazon, which does not ask for any object – with BNP, the customer must insert his bank card into the terminal. In addition, the service imagined by the French bank is expensive since it is necessary to subscribe to a Premier subscription which amounts to 158 euros per year. Saving time is a privilege that can be bought.