Tokyo 7-Eleven Lets You Pay With Your Face
In one way or another, the job of the cashier looks doomed to disappear. Amazon is already pushing for cashierless experiences through its Go stores, and now convenience store chain 7-Eleven is embracing facial recognition to make paying as easy as looking into a camera.
As The Mainichi reports, 7-Eleven has opened up a trial store in Tokyo's Minato Ward which is home to the NEC Group. Rather than requiring cashiers, cash, credit cards, or even contactless smartphone payments, this 7-Eleven just requires your face for payment. The store is open to the 6,000 or so NEC employees based narby and requires each have their face scanned and stored to enable the system to work.
Once registered on the system, a shopper can approach a self-checkout area where their items are scanned. But when it comes time to pay, they are asked to look into a camera while the system searches for a match. Once found, the total is automatically deducted from that person's NEC salary.
The collaboration between 7-Eleven and NEC to launch this new store makes sense seeing as NEC developed the facial recognition technology that makes it possible. 7-Eleven is quite experienced at using facial recognition technology. All 11,000 of 7-Eleven's stores in Thailand already use it to monitor store traffic, product stock, customer emotion, and to help suggest the most appropriate products to customers.
If the trial proves successful, 7-Eleven plans to roll out the option of paying with your face to small-scale outlets located inside office buildings. This is similar to what Amazon has planned after it recently launched an experimental compact version of its Go store in Seattle.