Germany-based Wirecard has launched a prototype of an unmanned store, the Grab & Go Store.

The concept offers customers a seamless purchasing experience through artificial intelligence (AI). Shoppers enter the unmanned Wirecard store via smartphone, pick products which are scanned automatically, and payment happens upon departure. Lines, checkouts and opening hours are eliminated and payment occurs in the background.

Launched by Wirecard’s Innovation Labs, the Grab & Go Store combines computer vision, deep learning and logic. Both pre-registered and new shoppers can enter the store after being identified at the door.

Non-registered users can enter the store with a tap of their credit card. In addition, they can enter an email address to receive receipts. Also, customers can download the store app and register payment data ahead of time.

After selecting items, shoppers walk out of the store and the payment is triggered. The system detects misplaced items, such as those picked up and left on a different shelf, and the user will not be charged.

As a result, the store lets staff carry out more valuable customer service roles than sitting at a checkout desk. It can also be adapted to a store-in-store concept, for example expensive or age-restricted products.

Merchants can leverage on additional features via an app. These include real-time inventory updates, meaning the store is always up to date and can react accordingly.

“At Wirecard, we believe that the future of shopping is all about customer convenience,” said Jörn Leogrande, EVP Wirecard Labs. “Our Grab & Go Store is suitable for a variety of shopping scenarios which put the customer first and give them the utmost flexibility. We see the Grab & Go Store and similar concepts becoming widespread in the near future, and for this reason we are positioning ourselves at the forefront of this technology.”

In 2018, Amazon launched a similar concept with Amazon Go.