New 7-Eleven Tech Will Let You Pick Up Items and Walk Out the Door

New 7-Eleven Tech Will Let You Pick Up Items and Walk Out the Door

7-Eleven is rolling out a test for a checkout-less payments system, in which the customer doesn’t even need to scan what they’re paying for at a traditional checkout, or give items to a cashier.

Brought to our attention by iTnews, the system is being rolled out in collaboration with Grabango, a company that’s been focusing on checkout-free tech.

It’s not an entirely new idea: For some time, Amazon has been trialling cashier-less stores with similar systems overseas (which it has now scaled back drastically), and in Australia, Woolies has been offering its ‘Scan&GO’ phone-based scanning system at some stores. 7-Eleven has been offering phone-based product scanning in Australia since 2021, but this is a bit different.

With this new technology, the phone isn’t required as an individual item scanner. With camera and sensor tech setup in stores that track the positioning of items in the space, customers just need to pick up what they want, bring it over to the exit, and then scan their phone (with the to-be-developed app ‘My 7-Eleven App Pay and Go 2.0’) at a Grabango scanner, which is then paid for.

Here’s how Grabango’s system works at another store:

On one hand, it’s a remarkably cool system that seems like it could really speed the shopping experience up. On another, it seems like a catastrophic point of failure for both customers and shops, depending on if the right items are identified, or only some of them, or too many. It also seems like a bit of a privacy nightmare, with cameras and sensors tracking you throughout the space, though in a previous rollout, Grabango has said that facial data is not tracked, and that all data is anonymised. We’ve reached out to 7-Eleven to ask if it’ll be the same for this trial.

And that’s before considering that shoppers are still going through a scanner, right? Like, if the scanner encounters a problem, or if a customer is finding it difficult to operate, then that’s another queue, baby. We’re back to square one. There’s also the fact that if a shopper doesn’t have an account they can just walk through the door without paying?

Anyway, the system hasn’t been rolled out yet, so I’ll bite my tongue for now and wait to see what happens.

“The enhancement the team is working with Grabango to develop will make it even more convenient for our customers who choose to pay with the Pay and Go feature as they won’t need to scan merchandise items individually,” 7-Eleven Australia general manager for technology and strategy Stephen Eyears said.

7-Eleven said that the checkout-less tech rollout is being offered alongside ‘traditional register payment options in the majority of stores’, and by 2024, the company is planning to have the system rolled out to 10 stores across Australia.

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