The world's largest online retailer is working on a way to have customers pay with a swipe of their hand. Amazon wants to do it by linking credit card information to your palm print.
According to The Wall Street Journal, plans are in the beginning phase and the company has reportedly begun working with Visa. The project has been discussed with Mastercard, JP Morgan Chase, and Wells Fargo as well.
The company recently filed a patent application for what is outlined as a "non-contact biometric identification system" that includes "a hand scanner that generates images of a user's palm."
If the project comes through, palm-payment terminals will be placed in coffee shops, fast-food restaurants and other retailers that do a lot of repeat business with customers.
Amazon began testing a new payment system last September with the hopes of introducing the technology trend at Whole Foods stores, which it owns, New York Post reports.
Stephanie Hare, an independent researcher, noted that countries like China already use biometric checkouts in some stores and pointed out that Amazon seems to have made a decision to not use facial recognition.
"I think they probably made a judgment call that Americans are probably not going to want to pay with their face, but they'll be fine to pay with their fingerprint or their hand," she said. "That feels less like a mug shot."
But, Amazon will have to respond to concerns from card issuers and customers over how terminals would protect against identity fraud.
The amount of personal information that the company will receive from the scans is also an important detail in the latest development.
The online retail giant anticipates that customers would first use the terminals to link their debit or credit card information to their hands. Information on exactly how this will be done has not been released.
Customers might insert their cards into a terminal, then let the terminal scan their hands. From then on, they would only need to place a hand over the terminal to pay at a participating retailer.
Social media users have begun posting their concerns over the recent announcement.
@Anthonydtaplia93 tweeted, "This is just the start. Then it's a chip in your body."
Kevin Shipp, a former CIA counter-terrorism, counterintelligence, and staff investigator, is the author of "From the Company of Shadows." He warns, "As I have been saying for some time, this will eventually be used for control of purchasing."
Vincent LaQuire responded, "The second beast of Revelation 13 will cause 'all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads, ..."
CBN News previously reported that the business of biometric scanning has expanded from secure government facilities to airports and now smartphones.
Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy and technology for Consumer Reports, warns consumers should think twice before sharing personal identifiers. "Once your biometric data gets leaked or compromised, you can't really do anything about it," he said. "The more people who potentially have it, the more potential for things to go bad."
Some Christians say body scanning and microchip implants are a clear fulfillment of the "Mark of the Beast" prophesied 2,000 years ago in the biblical book of Revelation.
"It also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name."-- Revelation 13: 16-17 New International Version (NIV)