“There is no separate checkout; taking the product is the transaction.”
FinTech solutions provider Wirecard is betting on biometric retail in the age of the Internet of Things.
The company has launched what it calls a new “IoT shelf” that is essentially a combined product display and biometric Point of Sale terminal. The idea is that customers would have their payment information pre-registered with a retailer using the solution, so that when they approach a display case, their face is recognized, and they pay for an item simply by picking it up and putting it in their shopping bag. There is no separate checkout; taking the product is the transaction.
While that shopping process sounds very convenient, the biometric registration process is obviously going to be important in determining adoption rates of this solution, and in announcing the new “IoT shelf” solution, the company didn’t delve into what that process would look like. But in the wake of the iPhone X and its Face ID system, consumers are getting more and more familiar with facial recognition technology, so it’s easy to imagine an app-based system, or perhaps even an in-store scanner, where customers can register their biometric and account data before shopping.
Wirecard hasn’t revealed pricing or availability for its new “IoT shelf” solution, but in a video demo, Wirecard Innovation VP Jannis Riesz said the company is hoping to take it to the market “fairly soon”.