Panera Bread is testing Amazon’s hand-scanning technology to allow customers to pay and access their loyalty program account through the palm of their hand.
- Panera Bread is testing Amazon One palm-scanning technology in two of its St. Louis restaurants.
- Amazon One links customers’ information, including their credit card and Panera loyalty number, to unique features on a customer’s palms. Customers can then scan their hands and pay for their meals while garnering loyalty points.
- Panera’s loyalty program has more than 52 million members, which will be a large user base to test the Amazon One product and possibly allow Amazon to expand its services.
Why it’s news
Touchless and quicker transaction options proliferated during the pandemic. Over the last few years, credit-card interactions have quickly gone from customer-to-clerk, to swipe, and now to scan. Increasingly, the card is being removed from the transaction all together with facial recognition and now palm scanning. Speed and safety are appealing to consumers and thus good for business.
Panera Bread users will soon have their credit card and loyalty number in the palm of their hand—literally.
Panera is partnering with Amazon to debut Amazon One technology in two of its St. Louis locations allowing customers to quickly scan their hands to pay for their food and gather loyalty points.
“We think the payment plus loyalty identification is the secret sauce that can unlock a really personalized, warm, and efficient experience for our guests in our cafes,” says Panera Chief Digital Officer George Hanson.
The company plans to expand the hand-scanning technology to around 10 to 20 more restaurants in the near future.
Although Amazon One’s technology has been around for nearly three years after debuting in 2020, many people remain concerned about the safety of the software, considering it keeps all customer information in the cloud system.
Cloud information technology has been known to be hacked, leaving customers’ personal information open to date breaches and the possible theft of their money via their stored credit card information.
Other users were concerned that the information would be stored directly in the Amazon One device, and if a thief were to steal the device from one of the Amazon locations, their information would be vulnerable.
Despite the many concerns with the device and its cloud technology Amazon insists that customers’ information is safe and is not stored directly in the device. The technology is stored in a secure location within Amazon’s cloud service and has “multiple layers of security controls that are used to protect data, including encryption and data isolation,” says the company.
Panera isn’t the first company to use the retail giant’s hand-scanning technology in its stores. In August of last year, Whole Foods began testing the scanning tech in 65 stores across California.
The Amazon One rollout is part of the company’s campaign to change the shopping experience for customers by making it faster and easier to pay. These new features accompany its previous endeavor of Just Walk Out Stores, where customers can just walk out without even stopping to pay with innovative sensor technology.
Whole Foods has reported success with the hand-scanning technology and expects to place more Amazon One devices in stores nationwide.