April 2, 2023

Amazon has partnered with AXS to create Amazon One, a contactless identity service that uses your palm to connect to an account. All customers have to do is create an Amazon One account and scan their handprint. Then, they can add credit cards and tickets to events, and link their Amazon accounts.

Touchless technology is becoming more widely used. For example, cash transitioned to credit cards and now mobile cards, which allow us to use cellphones or watches to pay – touchless technology originally aimed to make things easier. However, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it has also become important for sanitation. Things can now be done without any contact.

Effat Zeidan, assistant professor of general education, points out the effect COVID-19 has had on the use of contactless technology.

“COVID-19 has been a major motivator for contactless methods such as Apple Pay,” Zeidan said. “I have noticed an increase in the implementation and usage of contactless payment methods by various shops and grocery stores since the start of the pandemic, and we can relate that back to implementing proper safety health guidelines.”

When people with Amazon One accounts go somewhere, all they have to do is scan their handprint at an Amazon One kiosk and their credit card or ticket will be virtually processed. 

Amazon Ones have already appeared at places such as Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado, Whole Foods and Amazon shipping locations.

The technology may not be perfect, and some people have privacy concerns. Ashmeet Bedi, freshman biomedical major, spoke about her concern.

“You have to scan your handprint, so who is going to stop people from stealing your handprint or fingerprints?” Bedi said. “If people get your handprint or fingerprint they could use it to access all your information that is linked to your accounts, such as a credit card and personal information. Even though carrying around things like a concert ticket requires a little more thought, at least a concert ticket only has your name on it, and if lost or stolen, none of your personal information is attached to it.”

Despite these concerns, others are excited to be able to use technology to make life easier. Ofa Pinomi, freshman kinesiology major, said she sees the benefits of this contactless method.

“It is easier to do things when you have all your stuff in one place,” Pinomi said. “You don’t have to worry about forgetting your concert ticket, your credit card or even your phone now. All you need is your hand. It makes things a lot more convenient.”

Zeidan said she agrees that there are advantages to Amazon One.

“All you need at a store is your palm,” Zeidan said. “It sounds like something you would see or hear about in the movies, but here we are. I can see this application expanding to enter stadiums and offices, hospitals and other venues in the near future.”

Amazon One accounts can be deleted at any time. There are already more than 10 active Amazon One locations in California, so those who are interested can find the closest one and give this new technology a try. These can be found in Berkeley, Burlingame, Canoga Park, Glendale, Palm Beach, Los Angeles, Cerritos, San Jose, San Diego, Pacific Palisades, Marina Del Rey and West Hollywood.

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