Oftentimes, customers already carry the technology for cashless payment processes in their pockets by way of mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets or smartwatches. According to Juniper Research, over the next five years, these payment solutions will cover more than 5,000 retail outlets. Over the same period, the number of consumers who scan their own purchases via checkout apps will increase from just shy of 4 million to more than 30 million transactions.
Amazon and its pilot project Amazon Go, a supermarket that has no checkout stations, also intends to replace the physical checkout method in retail. The customer checks into the store with his/her smart device, takes the desired items from the shelf and leaves the store without having to pass through a checkout system. Cameras and sensors identify the products the consumer is purchasing. When customers leave the store, payment is made via the Amazon account.
Having said that, the opening of the first Amazon Go store in Seattle has been delayed since its originally scheduled launch date in March 2017. The technology still encounters some issues once the number of customers in the store exceeds a certain number. “Needless to say, this endeavor must not come at the expense of security“, elucidates Ralf Ohlhausen, “that is to say, both the customer and the retailer must have the assurance that the store doesn’t overcharge or undercharge.“