Skip to content

Here's why you shouldn't use your fingertips to buy groceries at Whole Foods

Sept. 05, 2019
3 min read
Here's why you shouldn't use your fingertips to buy groceries at Whole Foods
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here.

If Amazon has its way, your hands may be the new credit cards.

Rumors are surfacing that the retail giant is testing a payment system that will let Whole Foods shoppers use their fingertips as payment.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

According to the New York Post, the technology, called Orville, is currently being tested by Amazon employees at vending machines in New York. The system, which supposedly senses fingerprints without requiring a person to physically touch a scanner, could roll out as early as the next few months to a handful of stores.

Orville would reportedly speed up checkout times to under 300 milliseconds, as opposed to the three or four seconds it takes to swipe a credit card, a source told the New York Post. An Amazon spokesperson told the New York Post, “We don’t comment on rumors or speculation."

Last time I checked, this is a Whole Foods checkout line we're talking about, not the Olympic Swimming trials. Time is of the essence and we're all running around like crazy, sure, but something tells me we can all manage just a few more seconds.

Of course, this isn't the first time an idea of this kind has been realized. In fact, CLEAR is one of our favorite ways to beat the long lines at airport security. By enrolling in the program and authorizing biometric scanners to identify either your fingerprints or eyes, rather than wait for a TSA agent to inspect your ID, you can easily save minutes (if not hours) waiting in line.

I don't know about you, but not missing your flight or having extra time to relax at the airport lounge seems much higher on the list of priorities than getting home a minute earlier to store oat milk in the fridge.

Even if it's kind of silly, and we want to completely ignore the potential data risk, consumers should still think carefully about the credit card linked to their finger scan.

By not using a credit card that gets you bonus points on grocery purchases at US supermarkets, you're throwing money down the drain. So whether you're scanning your fingerprints or swiping a regular old piece of plastic (or metal) consider using The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express (3x points up to $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets, then 1x, plus a 50% bonus, when you use the card 30 times a month) or the American Express® Gold Card (4x points up to $25,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets; then 1x) the next time you're stocking up on produce. (The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer)

All the points you'll earn buying avocados will build up faster than you can say, "Where's the express checkout line?"

Featured image by Getty Images
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.