Panera Bread is linking its loyalty program to an up-and-coming biometric technology – the palm-scanning capabilities of Amazon One.
Members of MyPanera already have the option at its restaurants in hometown St. Louis to link up with Amazon One, and additional locations across the country will be added in the coming months.
"After a simple scan of the palm, Panera associates will be able to greet guests by name, communicate their available rewards, reorder their favorite menu items, or take another order of their choice, extending the guest experience into a true and meaningful relationship," Panera explained.
"When they are done ordering, guests can simply scan their palm again to pay."
Customers can sign up for Amazon One in participating Panera restaurants or elsewhere. An Amazon One account can be linked to MyPanera either online or in-store.
What is Amazon One?
An example of Amazon One's palm-scanning technology. Image: Amazon
Much like your iPhone may scan and recognize your face, Amazon One captures the minute characteristics of your palm and creates a "palm signature."
Amazon said the technology can be implemented to make certain everyday activities effortless, such as paying at a store, presenting a loyalty card, entering a location like a stadium, or badging into work.
Amazon said palm scanning is more private and secure than other biometric alternatives.
"You can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm," Amazon said when announcing the technology. "It also requires someone to make an intentional gesture by holding their palm over the device to use."
Customer’s data is encrypted and stored in a custom-built cloud alongside your palm signature, Amazon said, instead of being stored on the physical palm-scanner devices you see in-stores.
Amazon One was first implemented in the summer of 2020 at two Amazon Go stores in Seattle and has expanded to dozens more Amazon Go stores, Amazon Fresh stores and some Whole Foods Market stores (though Amazon Go stores nationwide are due to close April 1).
People can sign up for an Amazon One account with a mobile phone number and credit card. An Amazon account isn’t necessary.
This story was reported from Detroit.