Amazon to pilot biometric payments in Whole Foods stores?

A biometric payments system that uses the shape of a shopper’s hand to identify them at the point of sale (POS) is currently being tested by Amazon employees ahead of a planned pilot at “a handful” of Whole Foods supermarkets early next year, the New York Post reports.

“Employees at Amazon’s New York offices are serving as guinea pigs for the biometric technology, using it at a handful of vending machines to buy such items as sodas, chips, granola bars and phone chargers,” the report says.

Codenamed Orville, the system is designed to allow Amazon Prime account holders to charge payments to a card held on file by Amazon without needing to present a card or mobile phone at the checkout.

“The high-tech sensors are different from fingerprint scanners found on devices like the iPhone and don’t require users to physically touch their hands to the scanning surface,” the New York Post adds. “Instead, they use computer vision and depth geometry to process and identify the shape and size of each hand.”