Amazon introduces contactless tech to 200 establishments, including Panera cafes

Amazon is rolling out its palm recognition service at Panera bakery-cafes, as well as introducing it at over 200 establishments in and outside the company.

The ecommerce giant is actively deploying Amazon One, its contactless payment service that lets customers enter, identify and pay. For the first time, it will offer an additional capability of linking MyPanera loyalty memberships to customers’ Amazon One profiles.

This will make Panera the first restaurant chain to provide such an option, offering visitors access to the MyPanera loyalty program and an opportunity to pay with their palm.

In order to make use of the technology, customers will have to enroll in Amazon One and link their MyPanera account. Then, they can simply hover their palm over the Amazon One device and get “a highly personalized experience.”

The feature will be available at two Panera bakery-cafes in the St. Louis area (Town and Country and Bridgeton locations) before coming to additional Panera locations in the next few months.

“We are excited to deploy Amazon One in our restaurants because we want to deliver a frictionless and personalized loyalty experience for our guests,” said Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread and Panera Brands.

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“Amazon One is a great option for guests who want a quick and convenient way to sign up for our MyPanera loyalty program, redeem their rewards, and pay for their order with a simple hover of their palm over the Amazon One Device—all while enjoying a highly personalized in-store experience.”

Yet, the roll-out doesn’t stop at Panera, vice president Dilip Kumar told Reuters. Along with the upcoming expansion to 10-20 Panera cafes, over 50 installations were with the likes of independent retailers, stadiums and university customers, and the rest were in Whole Foods and other Amazon stores.

According to Amazon, palm recognition is a more private version of biometric identification as it doesn’t reveal the user’s identity. Additionally, it’s contactless and requires an intentional gesture.

As the tech giant is looking to cut costs and optimise operations, Amazon revealed it would slash 9,000 more jobs in the next few weeks.

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