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Amazon wants to scan shoppers’ hands as new payment method

Consumers would link their card information to their handprint

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Photo (c) isayildiz - Getty Images
Checking out at a grocery store or brick-and-mortar business may soon be as simple as waving your hand. 

The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), citing sources familiar with the matter, reports that Amazon is in the process of developing technology that would allow consumers to use their handprint as a payment method. The process would work by linking payment card information to a person’s hand so they could quickly get through the checkout line without the hassle of pulling out a card or cash.

The new payment method would likely require specific checkout terminals to work, but the retail giant is reportedly looking to introduce them first in coffee shops, fast-food restaurants, and other retail locations.

People familiar with the developments say that Amazon is already working with Visa to test the new terminals and is looking to do the same with Mastercard at some point in the future. Card issuers like Wells Fargo and JPMorgan Chase are also supposedly being contacted to support the financial side of the equation.

Amazon continues push into retail

Amazon has been continuing to push into the physical retail space after finding massive success in the online market. Following the rollout of several of its Amazon Go stores, the company was reportedly considering opening up a similar line of supermarkets in 2020.

People familiar with the matter said that the new stores would be powered by the same cashless technologies used in Go stores, which allow consumers to pick out items and pay for them upon exiting the store without having to wade through a checkout line.

A separate report suggested that Amazon was also looking to expand its number of Amazon Go stores by placing them in airports, movie theaters, and other merchant locations.

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