7-Eleven to open unmanned convenience stores in Japan

7-Eleven opens trial store in Tokyo using facial recognition payment system — The Mainichi — “Convenience store giant Seven-Eleven Japan Co launched a trial 7-Eleven store with a self-checkout system using facial recognition technology here on Dec 17 as it aims to promote labour-saving measures and introduce cashless payments amid concerns of labour shortages… Seven-Eleven Japan Co plans to install the system at small-scale 7-Eleven outlets, such as those inside office buildings, making it the first convenience store chain of its kind in Japan.” 


H&M invests in Klarna to let fashion shoppers ‘try before they buy’

H&M and Klarna partner to elevate the modern shopping experience for consumers — H&M Group — “H&M and Klarna will further integrate H&M’s digital and physical stores to give customers a seamless, personalised and engaging shopping experience no matter where, when and how they shop… This will include frictionless instore, mobile and online payments, simplified deliveries and returns and the flexibility to decide how and when to pay including the popular ‘try before you buy’ pay later service.” 


Korean retailer pilots unmanned convenience store that uses face recognition for entry and payments

GS25 brings facial recognition to new shop — Korea JoongAng Daily — “Most convenience stores without a human cashier use barcodes to identify the products. GS25’s new system instead identifies an item by its packaging and weight. This allows customers to simply place items on the table before paying using facial recognition or a credit card. The company says it takes only about a second for the system to recognize five items at once, whereas with the conventional barcode system it would take 15 seconds to scan them one by one.” 


M&S rolls out mobile self-checkout in London food stores

M&S rolls out checkout free checkout as part of digital first strategy — Marks & Spencer — “M&S has today announced the launch of its scan and pay service, Mobile, Pay, Go, which will be available for customers in six London stores ahead of Christmas… The pacey roll out follows a successful trial of the service at Waterside Simply Food over the summer. The store now sees 20% of its sales from Mobile, Pay, Go with an average of 170 items being purchased through the app every hour.” 


Amazon uses digital price tags to offer member-only pricing in new 4-star store

Introducing Amazon 4-star — Amazon — “Digital price tags alongside every product show the Prime price and list price, as well as Prime member savings, average star rating, and the total number of reviews a product has received. Customers who aren’t already Prime members can easily sign up for a free 30-day trial and instantly receive the Amazon.com price in store.” 


Shoppers forecast to spend $45bn a year using self-checkout in stores

‘Just Walk Out’ shopping and other smart checkout tech to reach over $45bn transactions by 2023, as retailers strive to eliminate lines — Juniper Research — “Retail spend at frictionless payment stores like Amazon Go will grow from an estimated US$253m in 2018 to over US$45bn by 2023. Juniper expects most of these transactions to be in convenience and general stores, with an average transaction value around US$30 per visit… Self-scanning apps, an alternative to ‘Just Walk Out’ technologies, will be used by over 32 million shoppers by 2023.” 


Sainsbury’s lets UK supermarket shoppers check out from their mobile phones

Skip the queue, scan and go: Sainsbury’s launches till-free shopping — Sainsbury’s — “In a UK supermarket first, Sainsbury’s is trialling new scan, pay and go technology that will enable customers in one of its busy London convenience stores to pay for products in-store using their smartphone… Using the latest version of the SmartShop app, customers visiting the Clapham North Station Local can use their smartphones to scan their shopping as they go and then pay for it through the app, from anywhere in the store, using Apple Pay.” 


Japanese carrier KDDI to pilot blockchain coupons that shoppers can redeem using biometrics in stores

KDDI and Hitachi pilot finger vein biometrics for redeeming coupons in stores — KDDI (translation) — “The user can authenticate himself by holding the finger registered on the authentication infrastructure, so it is not necessary to present the coupon at the store, and the coupon can be used even without the smartphone… Since coupon usage information recorded in the blockchain is extremely difficult to tamper with, it is easy to share coupon usage history securely and reliably between KDDI and affiliated stores, and payment according to the number of coupon users is highly accurate.” 


Coles Supermarkets picks Rambus’ Unified Payment Platform to ‘revolutionise retail in Australia’

A Coles supermarket

PARTNER NEWS: Australian supermarket giant Coles, one of the country’s largest retail groups, is to adopt Rambus’ Unified Payment Platform, an omnichannel commerce and payments solution that lets retailers offer a standalone or integrated mobile wallet application that supports credit cards, gift cards, loyalty points, coupons and receipts. More


Starbucks to roll out 100 cashless stores in Korea

Starbucks to increase number of cashless stores in Korea — Retail News Asia — “Starbucks Coffee Korea Co said Monday it will increase the number of cashless stores to over 100 across South Korea this month amid rising use of credit cards and mobile payment systems in the tech-savvy country… Starbucks said the decision is part of its broader digital innovation drive as cash payment has been constantly declining at stores in South Korea, from 31% of the total in 2010 to 15% in 2013 and 7% last year.” 


Tesco pilots ‘Scan Pay Go’ cashless supermarket concept

Tesco trials cashless ‘shop and go’ store at HQ — Essential Retail — “Tesco staff are trialling a completely cashless store at the grocer’s headquarters in Welwyn Garden City, including ‘shop and go’ technology similar to that used in the Amazon Go store in Seattle… The technology allows customers to scan and pay for their products via their smartphone before walking out of the store without visiting a traditional till point.” 


Dollar General lets customers check out on their mobile phones

Dollar General pilots mobile checkout app — Progressive Grocer — “Tennessee-based Dollar General is the latest food retailer and first dollar-store chain to move into mobile checkout… Users will receive a receipt immediately via the app and via email. Any digital coupons are applied automatically when customers scan items, and the app alerts users regarding any additional discounts or promotions.” 


Korean credit card issuers to roll out biometric payments at convenience stores

Credit card companies to launch ‘finger vein’ payment system — The Korea Times — “Three major card companies — Shinhan, BC, and Hana Card — announced on Sunday that were developing a biometrics payment system that authorizes transactions by scanning fingertips… The companies said the payment method would be available at convenience store chains across the country in October.” 


McDonald’s to roll out self-service kiosks across the US

McDonald’s to add self-order kiosks to 1,000 stores each quarter — CNBC — “McDonald’s will upgrade 1,000 stores with kiosk and mobile order technology every quarter for the next eight to nine quarters. International markets like Canada, Australia and the UK are already fully integrated with kiosk service and mobile ordering. McDonald’s has also been exploring delivery in the US in an attempt to meet customer demand and changes in how consumers want to get their food.” 


Retailers raise concerns over card networks’ plans for a single buy button

Visa, Mastercard push for one-click ordering. Retailers say ‘not so fast’ — The Wall Street Journal — “Representatives of large retailers including Walmart Inc and Home Depot Inc met with federal regulators this week to raise concerns about a new online payment initiative that Visa Inc and Mastercard Inc are preparing to roll out… Retailers’ main concern with combining the buttons is that merchants won’t be able to route their debit card transactions to lower-cost networks.”