Amazon.com Inc is testing its cashierless checkout technology for use in larger stores, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The cashierless system, which allows shoppers to buy things via a mobile app, tracks what shoppers pick up and what they put back on the shelves, and bill their credit cards as they leave. It has been rolled out in several Amazon Go stores in the United States this year.
The checkout-free technology involves an extensive network of cameras and weight sensors on shelves to track purchases. Though it functions well in a smaller-sized store structure, the e-commerce giant is now trying out the Amazon Go store concept, unveiled in late 2016, in bigger settings.
Amazon reportedly has big ambitions about cashierless retail and is willing to spend heavily, with plans to open around 50 automated stores with cashierless system in 2019, and as many as 3,000 Amazon Go stores by 2021, which would be about six times Whole Foods’ current store count.
Expanding its footprint in the traditional retail industry, Amazon is also trying to boost the adoption of its own digital wallet, Amazon Pay, which is currently mainly used by shoppers during online shopping in the brick-and-mortar stores.
In a bid to challenge Apple Inc.’s Apple Pay, which is accepted by over 5 million US merchants, in the mobile payments services sector, Amazon is offering a lower processing cost for its digital wallet to merchants including gas stations and restaurants.
This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Dec 4
Translation by Ben Ng with additional reporting
[Chinese version 中文版]
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