The next time you walk into a Panera, you might be asked to scan your palm print in order to activate your MyPanera membership benefits.
In a press release, Panera Bread announced that it will be deploying Amazon’s palm recognition technology at its locations. Amazon One, the contactless identity service owned by Amazon, is already being used at the company’s Amazon Fresh grocery stores, but this marks the first partnership with another brand. Panera says it will be the first national restaurant chain in the United States to leverage Amazon’s palm recognition technology.
For locations that feature the technology, MyPanera members will be able to scan their palm in order to link their membership to their purchase and also pay for it. The technology creates a unique biometric signature that is then linked to their payment method and loyalty account. Amazon says that “any private and personal data shared via Amazon One is securely stored and protected by multiple security controls, and palm images are never stored on the Amazon One device. All images are encrypted and sent to a highly secure area custom-built for Amazon One in the cloud where palm signatures are created.”
Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread and Panera Brands, said in a statement that deploying Amazon One at their locations is another way the company is “redefining the loyalty experience.”
“Collaborating with Amazon Web Services to bring this service into our bakery-cafes is a natural extension of the tech-forward, guest-centric digital thinking that Panera is known for. Our philosophy has been centered around leveraging best-in-class technology to create a better Panera experience and using that to deepen our relationship with our loyal guests. Introducing Amazon One, as a frictionless, personalized, and convenient service, is another way we’re redefining the loyalty experience.”
Panera says that it will start the rollout at some stores in St. Louis, the company’s headquarter city. It says that it plans to expand to more stores around the United States “in the coming months.” The authentication technology is incredibly convenient as customers won’t even need a phone on them to authenticate their account or pay for their order. However, it does mean that users will be trusting Amazon and Panera with their biometric data, something that many are bound to feel uncomfortable with.
The news comes in the same week that Amazon announces its plans to lay off an additional 9,000 employees through the end of April.