The Global Rise of The Cashless Store

Big retailers like Starbucks and Amazon are testing cashless, and even cashierless, store models to cope with demands for speed and convenience from their customers. New Worldpay research also indicates bank transfers are set to overtake credit and debit cards as the second most popular global payment method behind e-wallets.

Like it or not, we’re living in the technologically advanced future we once only saw in science fiction movies, and customers expect retailers to keep up with the latest technology trends too.

With the right technologies and controls in place, consumers will soon be as comfortable with their washing machine purchasing detergent as they are with a gym receiving automatic monthly payments from their bank account.

In Indonesia E-commerce operator JD.ID has officially opened its JD.ID X store in PIK Avenue, North Jakarta. Affiliated with China’s, the e-commerce boasts AI technology to create a distinctive shopping experience. There will be no cashier to receive shoppers’ payments, and according to the company’s website, JD.ID X makes use of face-recognition technology, radio-frequency identification (RFID), as well as cashless payment methods.

The 270-square meter store, which sits inside a major shopping mall in Jakarta, is the first cashier-less shop JD has launched outside its homeland where it operates 20 such facilities. It is also the largest one the company has introduced to date. The Jakarta branch lets customers pick up items and check out by themselves. Radio frequency identification – technology that tracks tags attached to objects – and face recognition at the exit will match the goods with the buyer, who can then pay with a credit card. The store will install “other cashless payment alternatives” in the future.

In-store cameras also help monitor customer movement, and JD can use this traffic data to optimize inventory and make product recommendations. JD’s ecommerce site launched in Indonesia in 2016 and has served 20 million customers nationwide, the firm says. It’s planning to add more warehouses to its network of nine, which will enable it to deliver 85 percent of its orders on the same or next day.

Southeast Asia is becoming an investment hotbed for Chinese tech behemoths. JD led an investment in Thailand’s online fashion brand Pomelo and has reportedly backed Indonesia’s ride-hailer Go-Jek. Alibaba has made similar moves, including a buyout of the regional ecommerce giant Lazada. Several Chinese startups have rushed to open unmanned shops. The industry’s poster child has been Bingobox, which counted 200 stores across 29 cities in the country as of January.