Whole Foods' Checkout System Is About To Make An Unusual Change

There's no arguing that Amazon has been an innovator in the shopping space. As Speaking Human reported, it has literally changed the world with its new concepts from Prime, a service that offers the opportunity to pay a small, yearly subscription fee for the option of "fast and free" shipping, to Dash Buttons which allow people to order products they commonly want without even needing to open a browser. And that's not all. Amazon stepped up in-store shopping when they opened Amazon Go stores, a concept in which shoppers with an Amazon account can get what they need without even having to stop and pay on the way out.

And since the company acquired Whole Foods, it has managed to streamline efficiency and innovation there as well. In 2021, Amazon helped Whole Foods launch some cashierless stores in several U.S. states in a similar manner to the way their Amazon Go stores work. And more recently, Amazon and Whole Foods added Dash Carts to the grocery store's repertoire to track and charge customers for items placed in their carts using artificial intelligence. But for those continuing to check out at the counter, Whole Foods has another interesting new checkout method.

Whole Foods tries its hand at a new checkout process

While some are excited at the prospect of a cashier-free shopping experience, others are a bit more skeptical and prefer the comfort of an actual checkout counter with a human employee. And Amazon and Whole Foods have found a way to accommodate both types. In addition to its cashierless stores, Whole Foods is now going to offer "palm-scanning technology" at various locations, starting in California. 

The Verge expands on this new concept, explaining that customers will have to go through a process of registering their palm scan and connecting it to their card at a register before using the tech for the first time. The store also requires participants to provide a "phone number" and "agree to Amazon's terms of service." From there, customers can shop as they normally would, but instead of whipping out a card at checkout, they simply reach out their hand and their card information is applied and charged.

According to CNBC, Amazon has toyed with palm-scanning tech before, called Amazon One, introducing the idea of using the palm as a means of identification when entering "Just Walk Out" stores both for their own brand and Whole Foods, but this option offers a way for customers to maintain their normal checkout rituals while saving themselves time in searching for their wallet or having to quickly put cash or cards away while others line up behind them. Just don't start waving your hands around near other registers.