Amazon Deepens Payments Presence With Express Payout, Cashierless Partnership With Panera

Amazon has expanded its reach in the payments arena with the the launch of Express Payout for Amazon Pay merchants and the reported expansion of its cashierless checkout to 200 stores. According to Reuters, the retailer is continuing to expand its cashierless tech through partnerships including a new deal with Panera Bread, which will deploy the technology in 10 to 20 locations over the coming months.

The growth of Amazon’s cashierless technology reflects its rising payments capabilities. The retailer declined to provide exact figures for its rate of expansion but noted that more than 69 locations used Amazon’s cashierless tech as of June 2022. More than 50 were at independent retailers, stadiums and universities, with the remainder in Whole Foods and other Amazon-owned locations.

Panera is currently utilizing the technology at two locations in the greater St. Louis area, according to Dilip Kumar, VP ofAWS at Amazon in an interview with Reuters. Shoppers can pay with a palm swipe, as well as pull up rewards accounts and order histories. While Panera is a new user of the technology, Amazon also is widening its deployment of the solution with existing partners.

However, the retailer also is facing pushback in the form of a lawsuit filed in New York City. The litigation claims that the retailer failed to alert Amazon Go customers that they were being monitored by biometric tracking technology, including facial recognition, in violation of a 2021 law. Amazon maintains that the claims made in the lawsuit are false and noted that it doesn’t use facial recognition technology in its Go stores.

While AWS was affected by the recent slate of 9,000 job cuts announced by Amazon, Kumar stated that there is “no strategy shift” planned for the unit. He also noted that AWS will outlast the current economic turbulence.

The new Express Payout offering will further enhance Amazon’s payment solutions by enabling retailers to receive deposits of up to $1 million in 24 hours, compared to three to five days, using the ACH payment network. Amazon Pay is integrated with a network of hundreds of banks and credit unions.

“Express Payout for Amazon Pay helps businesses of all sizes grow,” said Omar Soudodi, Director of Amazon Pay in a statement. “With this new feature, merchants can reap the benefits of their sales and tackle the unexpected costs of expanding their business in an ever-evolving economic climate — with payouts at the fast speed Amazon is known for.”