Panera is testing out technology from Amazon that enables its customers to make payments and access their loyalty programme rewards by scanning the palm of their hand.
The US fast food chain, which sells soups, sandwiches, salads, and fresh pastries, said the pilot of Amazon One palm scanning technology is an effort to increase engagement with its MyPanera loyalty programme.
“We want to deliver a frictionless and personalised loyalty experience for our guests,” said Niren Chaudhary, CEO of Panera Bread and Panera Brands. “Amazon One is a great option for guests who want a quick and convenient way to sign up for our MyPanera loyalty programme, 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 personalised in-store experience.”
Customers can choose to use Amazon One for loyalty linking, payment, or both.
Panera is the first restaurant chain to use Amazon One for payments and loyalty access. Customers of its bakeries and cafes can enroll in Amazon One and link their MyPanera account. When they visit a Panera site, they can hover their palm over the Amazon One device to get a personalised experience.
Amazon said in a blog post: “Amazon One, our palm-recognition service that lets customers enter, identify and pay, will for the first time provide the additional capability of linking MyPanera loyalty memberships to customers’ Amazon One profiles.”
The initial pilot will be at two Panera locations, but will be expanded.
Amazon said the use of its technology “addresses a major pain point” for restaurants and retailers, in which customers skip loyalty programmes because they prefer to get in and out with their purchase, rather than going through loyalty programme sign-up and redemption processes.
“Similarly, redeeming rewards often requires customers to open a sub-menu in a mobile app, find email vouchers or remember to bring physical coupons – all of which are time-consuming and inconvenient. Now, Panera guests have the option of hovering their palm over an Amazon One device to load their MyPanera account alongside personalised rewards that Panera provides based on their preferences.”
Loyalty programmes are important to businesses in the digital age. They drive customer retention, which can help them increase revenue, referrals and growth. Organisations typically generate most of their revenue from existing customers, which requires less overhead than revenue from new customers.
Meanwhile, payments via palm scans, if popular, will further boost the increasing dominance of contactless payments.
According to UK figures from Barclays bank, more than 90% of transactions in 2022 that were eligible to be made using contactless technology were paid that way.