Are biometric payments the future of in-store purchases?
Proving your identity with a wave of your hand, so to speak, is not new. A little over 18 months ago, the technology was introduced to Red Rocks Amphitheater in Colorado, allowing concertgoers access by scanning their palms instead of a ticket. Before that, Amazon introduced it as a form of contactless pay. Panera is the first national restaurant chain to announce they will adopt this technology. However, not everyone is a fan. Here’s what you need to know.
What are biometric payments?
Biometric payments use a unique physical characteristic, such as a fingerprint, to authenticate an in-person purchase. Because no two people have the same fingerprint, biometric payments protect your identity and your bank account — even if someone steals your credit card, they won’t have the same fingerprint, so the purchase will be declined.
What is Amazon One?
Amazon One is an identity service. It uses a palm scan to verify you are you. You can pre-enroll online, but you’ll eventually need to finish the process in person. This involves swiping your credit card, entering your phone number and scanning your palm. After that, your palm will be connected to your bank account. The end goal, according to Amazon’s site, is to simplify life and offer the ultimate convenience. In the future, you won’t need money or identification because your palm will be your ticket to everything.
What are the perks of using palm-scanning technology at Panera?
If you opt in for Panera’s palm-scanning program, after entering the store and scanning your palm, you will be greeted by name and receive personalized menu recommendations based on your previous orders. After making your selection, you can pay for your food with a second scan.
What are the concerns about using Amazon One?
One of the biggest concerns is how Amazon stores information. Unlike your favorite tech gadgets that keep all of that convenient biometric unlocking data directly on the device, Amazon One needs to connect with you, no matter where you are — whether it’s a Panera Bread store or an Amazon Go store. This means all your information is in a database, which is vulnerable to hacking.
Besides the security concerns, people opposed to this technology also claim it’s fraught with potential ethical problems and frustrations — it’s one thing when a card doesn’t work, but what do you do when an actual appendage is declined?
Best biometric devices
Not all biometric devices push the curve and make people uncomfortable. Some have become so integrated into our lives that they’re highly desirable.
A biometric door lock is a smart way to protect your home. Besides a biometric fingerprint reader, this model has programmable auto-locking and offline access codes that allow entry even when your Wi-Fi is down.
If you have valuables you want to protect, a biometric safe is a great option. This model is packed with desirable features, such as technology that sees through dirt and scratches, multiple-year battery life and a self-diagnostic test that runs after every use or every 24 hours.
Sold by Amazon
This powerful laptop has a built-in fingerprint scanner for a fast and secure login. It has an Intel Core i7 processor and an Intel Iris graphics processor and runs on Windows 11. The 14-inch screen offers a balance of compact size and productivity.
If you’re a fan of Windows, you’ll love this device. It’s a high-definition fingerprint scanner that allows you to bypass passwords and use a fingerprint. It’s compatible with all leading password management software.
Sold by Amazon
An Amazon Echo device is not a biometric device. However, it does recognize voice commands. If you have a touch of technophobia, it can help you feel more comfortable interacting with technology.
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Allen Foster writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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