American supermarket chain 7-Eleven has opened a South Korean store that operates without staff. Located in Seoul’s Lotte World Tower, the store uses biometric verification when processing payments.
Pay with the palm of your hand
Customers visiting the store for the first time, will need to register through their loyalty card, linking their information to their hand palm features (size, colour, shape, …). Once that has been done, they can simply pay by holding their hand over a scanner: no credit card, cash or smartphone required.
The same technology is used throughout the store: tobacco products can only be acquired once the customer’s age is confirmed through his palm. A special scanner, which tracks all of the barcodes, scans these items in the payment area and then presents the price. This also eliminates the need to scan each item separately.
Only 2,000 of Lotte World Tower’s employees can currently access the store, but it should open its door to the general public in August. 7-Eleven is already working on a second store as well. The company seems to have beaten Amazon to the punch, as the American's attempts to run the Amazon Go pilot project were postponed by a range of issues.