The continued onslaught of the so-called cashless transactions on the mainstream global community seems to pave the way for the feared ‘mark of the beast’ whose usage characterizes business transactions in the biblical end times.

Otherwise described as a palm-reading payment technology, one such cashless transaction was introduced by Amazon at Whole Foods locations in California. This enabled the customers to pay for their groceries by simply scanning their palms at checkout terminals instead of using cards or cash.

Cashless payment system—what a breakthrough indeed, how convenient. Very soon, for sure, this will become trendy, then be accepted as a normal procedure in this high-tech world that we live in. But why is it alarming to some people with background knowledge of the Holy Scriptures?

In Revelation 13, starting from verse 1, the beast is introduced and described, having emerged from the sea, with seven heads and ten horns and crowns. The dragon gave him power and great authority, and both of them were worshipped by the people. Power was given to him over all races and nations, speaking blasphemies against God and His people, doing great wonders and miracles.

“And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name” (Revelation 13:16-17 KJV).

At the moment, palm-scanning technology is still kind of superficial, with no microchip implanted into the palms. One may simply register his/her palm print using a kiosk or at a point-of-sale station. To register, one needs to provide a payment card and phone number, agree to the terms of service, and share an image of the palm. Once completed, one can take items to checkout and not have to take out a wallet — or even your phone. A hover of a hand over the device is all that’s needed to pay and leave.

Could this be a foretaste of the ‘mark of the beast’? Very likely. This could be a form of conditioning to get people used gradually to the utilization of that palm-scanning thing. Once accustomed to the practice, people will no longer protest though the implantable microchip is introduced. That mark, unfortunately, will be contained in that microchip, and that’s the number of the beast which the Bible warns people not to receive.

The roads now are leading to that implantable microchip containing the number 666. There’s the requirement for a national ID, whose data are likely to be transferred to that chip, and there’s this palm-scanning alternative to debit and credit cards for business transactions. We must indeed be living in the end times when all these things shall come to pass.