Sayonara barcode scans! Now there’s a faster and easier way to shop in Japan.

While it’s true that Japan remains a cash-based society, particularly in rural regions, the country is now making a push towards creating more cashless payment systems in the lead up to the 2020 Olympics. 

So far we’ve seen the PayPay mobile system catch on, and we’ve even had a go at buying coffee from an AI-controlled kiosk in Tokyo, but now there’s an even more advanced way to tap and pay, and here to walk us through it is our reporter Mr Sato.

The new AI self-checkout register that Mr Sato visited is located at a Seikatsu Saika convenience store in Tokyo, and when he arrived, he could see why the system had been put in place, because that line to get to the register was loooong.

Poplar, the operators of the Seikatsu Saika convenience store chain, decided to relieve congestion at this particular store by installing one of their new “Wonder Cash Registers” here on 12 April. And when Mr Sato approached the self-checkout with his purchase in hand, he was blown away by the futuristic look of the brightly lit machine.

Checking out the instructions at the top of the box, he could see that he would need to pay using his IC transport card. It looked like credit card payment wasn’t an option here, but seeing as many tourists like to buy IC cards when travelling around Japan, it was still a convenient way to pay.

Unlike other self-checkout registers, which require you to stand there scanning each one like an unpaid checkout clerk, this one runs on a revolutionary new system. All you have to do is place your items flat on the brightly lit service and press the “calculate total” button on the touchscreen.

Your total is displayed instantly, and then all you need to do is tap your card on the panel to the right to pay

After paying, this screen appears, displaying the cost of the items, which in this case was Mr Sato’s favourite jelly drink, along with information about the remaining balance on the IC card and buttons to request or decline a receipt.

The whole transaction was incredibly fast and easy, and Mr Sato can’t wait to try it all again. The system looks set to be rolled out at other branches in the future too, so be sure to try one out if you see one, and let us know if you do!

Store Information

Seikatsu Saika Boeki Centre Building Store /生活彩家 貿易センタービル店
Address: Tokyo-to, Minato-ku, Hamamatsu-cho 20401 Sekai Boeki Centre Building B1F
東京都港区浜松町2−4−1 世界貿易センタービル地下1F
Hours: 7 a.m.-10 p.m. (Saturdays 7 a.m.-8 p.m.) Closed Sundays and public holidays

Photos © SoraNews24
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