Amazon is selling the Amazon One palm reader function for use at other venues, including merchants, stadiums and office buildings. This indicates Amazon is thinking big and plans Amazon One will be used for a number of different use cases, some far afield from simple payments. Here is some idle conjecture. Amazon One may be used to identify an individual.
- It might become a person’s digital identity.
- It could be used as an access control device.
- It will certainly be used as a payment mechanism that connects to a payment network.
- Amazon could even tear a page from Kevi, that intercepts card transactions and instead routes them over a EU Open Banking infrastructure.
Those worried about privacy are already concerned regarding Amazon One, but these new potential use cases will likely increase those concerns:
“Amazon this week began expanding Amazon One to more stores beyond the two demo locations at Amazon Go locations in Seattle. The technology is still at an early stage, but is positioned as a means to do more than just shop at a single store. Amazon has invited third parties such as other merchants, stadiums and office buildings to add Amazon One. That would make the feature both an enrollment and check-in option at an almost limitless number of facilities.
Amazon One is part of a stack of technology the e-commerce giant is building to cover different options for shopping, security, marketing, payment and fulfillment. The past few years have seen Amazon add shopping cart sensors, robot delivery, automated home access and voice-directed gas payments.
If successful, Amazon One would serve as an additional enrollment method to build its base, giving Amazon more control over data, marketing and upselling. It would also allow Amazon to control check-in at multiple stores in new markets such as India, where Amazon is applying for a license to process payments domestically.”
Overview by Tim Sloane, VP, Payments Innovation at Mercator Advisory Group