First we had physical credit cards, then we moved to the current state of digital wallets available on phones and watches – the next financial frontier may literally be in the palm of your hand.
Forget The Credit Card – Amazon May Make it Possible to Just Wave Your Hand
Amazon is currently working with Visa and talking with JP Morgan Chase, Mastercard, Wells Fargo, and Synchrony Financial to test out terminals that would allow you to use a “non-contact biometric identification system” according to their patent. This would involve allowing customers to store their credit card to the print of their palm for payment purposes.
Amazon is already rolling out palm scans for payment purposes at their own Whole Foods stores so they have the technology. Now, they want to bring it to more stores.
This would mean a simple scan of the hand could be all that is needed to pay for items at stores with these scanners and terminals. Of course, convenience would come at a price as Amazon would use this data to help them figure out customers’ purchase habits. This, and the worry of how your biometric info would be handled, are hurdles that will be bigger for Amazon than the tech itself. Will customers gladly trade their biometric data and purchase behavior for the convenience of never carrying a credit card for stores that utilize these scanners? Time will tell!
If it works, it could certainly be something that would banks fight harder than ever to be your #1 credit card. I imagine it would be controlled by an app where you assign a particular credit card to your palm print so it is not likely something you are going to change with a flick of the finger all the time. That means that whichever card you have assigned to your palm will become a daily driver.
On the flip side for customers, it could certainly payment methods more secure, at least in the short-term. It likely would not take long for criminals to figure out how to scan your palm and grab that data. Imagine walking around all the time with your fists clenched? 🙂