Amazon’s palm readers get age verification for alcohol

Coors Field in Denver is the first sports venue to use Amazon One technology for age-verified alcohol sales.
Connor Perrett
Amazon One tech
  • Amazon One palm-reading tech can now be used for age verification. 
  • The updated tech will be first available at Coors Field in Colorado. 
  • Amazon One users will link their government-issued identification to enable the feature.

Amazon One, the retailer’s palm-reading purchasing tech, now supports age verification for alcohol purchases.

Dilip Kumar, the vice president of Amazon Web Services (AWS) applications, detailed the update to Amazon One in a May 22 blog post. Coors Field, the home of the Colorado Rockies Major League Baseball team, will be the first venue to offer alcohol purchases via the palm-reading tech.

Amazon One tech aims to reduce friction in purchasing, and adding age verification for alcohol purchases takes that goal one step further, as consumers won’t have to show an identification card when purchasing alcohol. Kumar said that existing Amazon One users can visit the Amazon One website where they can upload a photo of both sides of their government-issued ID.

“Consumer preferences are ever evolving and demand for faster service models continues to grow,” said Alison Birdwell, president and CEO of Aramark Sports and Entertainment, which operates the food service at Coors Field, in the release. “Amazon One’s latest capability directly responds to those demands by delivering a new level of convenience to the age verification process, shortening the time it takes to make an alcohol purchase and improving the overall guest experience at Coors Field.”

Here’s how it works:

  • Customers will wave their palms over the Amazone One reader. 
  • If they’re 21 years old or above, a 21 plus message will flash on the screen alongside a user-uploaded selfie of the customer.
  • If the photo and the customer match, the server can proceed with the sale.
  • The customer will hover their palm over the reader again to pay for their alcohol beverage and complete the sale.

Kumar notes that consumers who still need to enroll in Amazon One can do so at an enrollment kiosk wherever Amazon One tech is available. They can also pre-enroll in Amazon One by visiting the Amazon One website. Amazon added pre-enrollment as an option earlier this year when Panera Bread piloted the tech at select St. Louis-area restaurants, Retail Leader previously reported.

George Hanson, chief digital officer at Panera Bread, this week explained how the tech has already been beneficial since the cafe chain started testing it earlier this year. “Amazon One not only does the loyalty identification experience and the payment experience, which we believe will only propel more usage and more loyalty at the cafe, but Amazon One also allows very easy new loyalty signups,” Hanson said, according to Nation’s Restaurant News.

Amazon says Amazon One tech is available at 100 of its Whole Foods Market stores, at select Amazon Fresh grocery stores and at select Amazon Go stores, where the tech first appeared in 2020. It’s also available at some third-party convenience stores, at sporting event venues and at a few Panera Bread cafes. Amazon said age verification will roll out to more establishments in the coming months.

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