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Like a fortune teller, Panera will start reading your palms

Worried about your security and privacy? Amazon says it’s got you covered

Photo (c) River North Photography - Getty Images
Consumer loyalty took a big step this week when Panera inked a deal with Amazon to offer game-changing ordering and checkout technology built solely around your palm. Yep, you read that right -- your palm.

With Amazon One’s palm-scanning service in its restaurants, all Panera customers have to do to pull up their loyalty account, see their order history, and check out with contactless payment is just swipe their hand over a scanner. 

Panera is the first national restaurant company to offer this technology. Being first is important to the company. It was also the first national chain to offer an unlimited self-serve beverage subscription last year.

Loyalty is becoming a big thing for restaurants as ConsumerAffairs reported earlier this week. Currently, the customer loyalty management market worldwide is valued at more than $5.5 billion and with 57% of consumers spending more on brands or providers to which they are loyal, Panera clearly sees the upside of this move.

Panera believes that getting closer to the customer has huge potential

In addition to account access and touchless transactions, Amazon One technology will allow Panera to get ahead of the personalization curve by offering tailored meal recommendations based on a customer’s preferences and previous orders, plus it will also allow a Panera associate to see the name of who’s ordering and address them by name.

“With one of the largest and most successful loyalty programs in the country, Panera wanted to make it even easier for its guests to access their rewards and have a more customized café experience,” said Dilip Kumar, vice president, AWS Applications. “We’re proud to collaborate with Panera on the rollout of Amazon One and elevate the guest experience by providing a simple, fast, and effortless way to complete their order so they can spend more time enjoying their meal.”

If you’re thinking about what could go wrong with something this futuristic, Amazon said it’s already there and guarantees that any private and personal data shared via Amazon One is securely stored and protected by multiple security controls. It says palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. 

The new technology will begin in Panera’s corporate headquarters backyard in St. Louis, then expand to additional locations in the coming months. 

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