Convenience stores without a cashier | The Journal of Quebec

Buy merchandise without having to go through the checkout to pay. This is one of the technologies that the giant Alimentation Couche-Tard will soon be testing in certain convenience stores in the United States.

Over the past few days, Couche-Tard management has confirmed that it has signed a partnership with the young San Francisco company, Standard Cognition, to implement, over the next six months, an autonomous and contactless payment technology.

The pilot project will be deployed, for the moment, in several convenience stores of the Circle K group’s banner in the Phoenix, Arizona area. Cashiers will always be present in these establishments.

“By the end of the year, we will be opening the very first convenience store in the world which will have been renovated to introduce an autonomous and contactless payment technology”, answers the Journal the spokesperson, Laurence Myre Leroux. “Our customers will be able to just walk into the store, take what they need and leave without having to scan anything or stand in line to pay,” she continues.

Without biometrics

Several cameras will be installed in the establishments concerned. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine vision software, it will be possible to associate each customer with the merchandise purchased, “without using biometric data”, specifies the Quebec company.

The latter adds that this technology will not use sensors on tablets either. However, the customer will need to download a mobile application and provide their information. Payment will be made automatically via the application at the exit of the trade.

For now, Couche-Tard says it wants to test this innovation and ensure that it brings added value for its customers and the company. The pilot project does not provide for a test in Quebec.

However, management is not ruling out the possibility of deploying this offer on a larger scale if the results are positive.

Like Amazon

In recent years, Amazon has also developed various technologies that allow consumers to skip the queues.

The Amazon Go group’s grocery chain notably asks its customers to pay via a mobile application. This is a concept of stores without a cashier.

Recently, the e-commerce giant also launched a smart grocery cart (Dash Dart). This new technology should be available in a first store in California by the end of the year.

Couche-Tard has more than 14,800 stores around the world, including nearly 9,800 in North America. The company is currently looking to expand.

The Couche-Tard pilot project

  • Testing will take place in Arizona over the next six months at Circle K stores.
  • Several cameras will be installed. With the help of artificial intelligence and machine vision software, it will be possible to associate each customer with the merchandise purchased.
  • Billing will be done via a mobile application on a phone.

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