Amazon is looking to its Amazon One palm-scanning tech to speed up the alcohol purchase process. No more standing in long lines to buy alcohol. You can now do it with a wave of your hand.
Amazon One’s Journey
Amazon One was officially launched in September 2020 at the first Amazon Go brick-and-mortar retailer in Seattle. The retail giant’s commitment to streamlining customer experiences with automation extends to its physical locations like Amazon Go, Amazon Fresh, and Whole Foods Markets, which each feature Amazon One biometric identification.
The technology has been licensed to third parties and is now offered at airports and sports stadiums including Climate Pledge Arena, Lumen Field, and Seattle’s T-Mobile Park. Coors Field in Colorado is the latest sports venue to implement the feature. In March, Amazon announced a partnership with Panera Bread to bring the palm scanner technology to more than 2,100 locations nationwide.
Amazon coupled the product with its “Just Walk Out” campaign to demonstrate how it removes friction with concession lines and gets fans back into their seats faster. As more venues move to a cashless environment, consumers can expect to see a rise in biometric scanning technology.
How Does it Work?
To enroll, Amazon One customers must upload a photo of the front and back of an ID along with a selfie. When a customer waves their hand over the palm scanner, a “21+” icon will display next to the uploaded selfie. Bartenders can verify the “21+” indication and match up the selfie with the person in line. Once confirmed, the customer pays by hovering their palm over the scanner once more.
Automation Creates Efficiencies
The technology makes the most sense for high-volume venues like concerts and sporting events. Everyone has experienced the long lines at concessions. Wait times for alcohol vendors can be longer with the vendor having to check each individual government ID for age verification. This biometric capability optimizes the overall rate of sale by removing the time-consuming manual process of checking an ID.
Implementation Met with Some Resistance
Not everyone is on board with Amazon One’s integration. Red Rocks Ampitheatre, Colorado’s premier outdoor music venue and Fintech client, scrapped plans to introduce Amazon One after a campaign from musicians and activists. Tom Morello, guitarist of Rage Against the Machine and Audioslave, was one of many notable artists to pen an open letter after the announcement.
“For many of us, concerts and live events are some of the most memorable and enjoyable experiences of our lives. The spread of biometric surveillance tools like palm scans and facial recognition now threatens to destroy that, transforming these spaces into hotspots for ICE raids, false arrests, police harassment, and stolen identities,” the letter read.
The conversation around digital surveillance is always reinvigorated whenever a new piece of automation technology is introduced. And while the questions are valid, they don’t tend to be enough to halt progress with implementation and adoption. It will be interesting to see if other large venues follow suit with Red Rocks.
Fintech’s Automations Also Create Efficiencies for Your Alcohol Business
While Amazon One helps streamline the front end of alcohol payments, Fintech’s PaymentSource® handles the back end. With PaymentSource, all your alcohol invoices are paid electronically, no matter if you are in a cash-on-delivery (COD) or term-payment state. PaymentSource also supports electronic data integration of all line-item invoice fields into your back-office system.
Automations like Amazon One and PaymentSource improve alcohol business processes and protect your margins. They also both have off and on-premises applications. If you’d like to see how quickly PaymentSource can produce ROI, learn more about the solution and request a demo here.