Amazon continues its War on Friction by letting people pay with the palms of their hands

Amazon is continuing its War on Friction by building a tool that lets customers pay with the palms of their hands.


January 20, 2020

Amazon is building in-store checkout terminals that can scan customers’ hands instead of their credit cards, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The company is working with Visa (and in talks with Mastercard) to build out this system, which will require customers to link their hands with debit/credit cards once… and then allow them to simply wave their hands to make purchases thereafter.

You’ve gotta hand it to Amazon…

They really are creative when it comes to convenience.

Jeff Bezos — the King of Convenience, the major-domo of marginal dollars — is constantly looking for ways to make it easier for his customers to spend money by reducing friction

This palm program is a classic example: Hand scans eliminate the slight inconvenience of scanning a phone or (gasp) swiping a credit card — and therefore make it marginally easier to spend cash.

Amazon’s entire empire is built on frictions found and then phased out: 

  • Standing in line 

Solution? Amazon Go stores allow customers to shop without checking out.

  • Entering your info online

Solution? Amazon 1-Click ordering allows customers to order with a single click and avoid entering their info.

  • Living in a sh*tty apartment

Solution? Amazon Hub allows customers to pick up packages at lockers, and Amazon Key allows customers to remotely let Amazon into their cars and houses to drop off packages.

  • Forgetting to reorder

Solution? Amazon Dash allows customers to automatically restock supplies with Smart Shelves or verbally command Dash Wands or other Alexa-connected devices to reorder items (Amazon Dash buttons were discontinued). 

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