The so-called Amazon effect is a major influence in such areas as retail and logistics, but can Amazon biometric ID do the same for identity technology? Amazon, of course, is already a growing force in facial recognition. Now there seems to be a fresh push toward enabling biometric payments at Amazon-backed grocery stores.
Amazon is reportedly developing a terminal that will enable consumers to make payments by scanning their hand, which will be linked to a payment method that’s registered in advance.
Like pretty much anything that Amazon does, the payoff could be high if success is achieved. In this case, that would potentially mean even more mainstream consumer acceptance of biometric ID technology and efforts — and at a time with general backlash against facial recognition and other forms of digital ID is building in some quarters.
Here’s what going on with Amazon, according to a recent report from Business Insider: Amazon “is reportedly developing a terminal that will enable consumers to make payments by scanning their hand, which will be linked to a payment method that’s registered in advance.”
Amazon biometric ID terminals and building access
Details on how exactly the Amazon biometric ID and payments program would work remain pretty scarce, and Amazon’s not talking. That said, according to the report, “Amazon is looking to bring the terminal to third-party merchants, like coffee shops and fast-food chains, as it may be set to expand upon its previously reported interest in bringing a similar technology to Whole Foods.”
Amazon reportedly also is already working with Visa and Mastercard on this larger effort. Buy-in from the major payment card networks would be key to making sure the biometric payment effort deploys and is successful.
A recent U.S. patent application reportedly filed by Amazon also sheds more light on the company’s biometric and digital ID plans. According to one recent account, Amazon “filed for a patent for a non-contact Biometric ID System that could apply to future libraries, hospitals, offices and stores and more than likely their Amazon Go stores.”
The patent application goes into a bit more detail, even if major questions still remain. “Amazon’s patent application states that accurate and fast identification of a user provides useful information that may be used in a variety of ways. For example, entry to a material handling facility (facility), office, transportation facility, or other location may be controlled based on user identity.”
The worlds of digital payments and commerce are quickly converging in new ways, and Amazon is a significant part of that. And the worlds of biometrics, digital ID, retail and even building access are coming together in spots, driven in large part by companies with interests in all areas.