Amazon One Expands to Whole Foods, Eyes Third-Party Interest

More Seattle-area shoppers can pay with their palms
Amazon One
Photograph courtesy of Amazon

Amazon is bringing its trademark “seamless” shopping experience in the form of Amazon One contactless payment to a number of Whole Foods Markets in Seattle. A fast and contactless way for people to use their palm to enter the store, identify and pay, Amazon One debuted at two Seattle-area Amazon Go stores last September. Since then, the company has rolled out the contactless payment method to additional Amazon Go Grocery, Amazon Books, Amazon 4-star, and Amazon Pop Up locations in its hometown.

“Thousands of customers have signed up for the [Amazon One] service, and feedback has been great—customers have shared they appreciate how quick it is to enroll and use, and that its contactless nature has been helpful in our current environment,” said the company on the About Amazon section of its website.

Ever-focused on the marriage between technology and the shopping experience, the e-tailing giant started with Just Walk Out technology at its Amazon Go locations, followed by the Amazon Dash Cart, which allows shoppers to skip the checkout line, at its Amazon Fresh stores.

And now shoppers at the Whole Foods Market store at Madison Broadway in Seattle will be able to use Amazon One as a payment option at checkout.

“At Whole Foods Market, we’re always looking for new and innovative ways to improve the shopping experience for our customers,” said Arun Rajan, SVP of technology and chief technology officer for Whole Foods Market, in a statement. “Working closely with Amazon, we’ve brought benefits like Prime member discounts, online grocery delivery and pickup, and free returns to our customers, and we’re excited to add Amazon One as a payment option beginning today.”

The company has said it plans to add Amazon One as an option to seven additional Whole Foods Market stores in the Seattle area over the coming months, including stores in West Seattle, Interbay, Westlake, Kirkland, Lynnwood, Roosevelt Square and Redmond.

Customers who are new to using Amazon One can sign up at any Amazon One kiosk or device in participating stores, and enrollment takes less than a minute, the company said. After customers insert their credit card, they hover their palm over the device and follow the prompts to associate that card with the unique palm signature being built in real time for them by Amazon computer vision technology. Shoppers will have the option to enroll with just one palm or both and can also continue to check out and pay using a credit card, cash, or any other form of payment accepted at Whole Foods Market.

Once enrolled, customers can immediately use Amazon One to pay at participating Whole Foods Market stores. If customers have previously signed up for Amazon One at an Amazon store, they may need to reinsert their credit card one time at an Amazon One device in a Whole Foods Market so they can continue to use the service in those stores, noted Amazon. If customers choose to link their Amazon One ID with their Amazon account, they can automatically get their Prime member discount at Whole Foods Market.

As to expanding the technology to third parties, Amazon said it is “excited to see Amazon One in more retail environments and [is] in active discussions with several potential customers.”



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