7-Eleven Australia has opened a cashless and cardless convenience store in Melbourne, advancing retailers’ attempts to eliminate checkout queues.

Located in the suburb of Richmond, the concept store has no physical retail checkout or counter. Instead shoppers use the 7-Eleven app on their smartphones to scan and pay for items.

The convenience store chain says that instead of processing transactions, its store staff can focus on greeting and assisting customers and on delivering the brand’s growing food offer.

Retailers are experimenting with various ways to transform or completely eliminate the point of sale process. For example, Woolworths is trailing scan and go shopping technology at a store in Double Bay, Sydney, while in the US Amazon’s Go concept store uses computer vision to identify what shoppers have bought and automatically charges their Amazon account.

“Nobody likes to wait, so eliminating queues was part of the mission for this mobile checkout. In the new concept store, customers will notice the absence of a counter. The store feels more spacious and customers avoid being funnelled to a checkout location creating a frictionless in-store experience,” said Angus McKay, 7-Eleven CEO.

The technology was first tested in 7-Eleven’s Exhibition Street Melbourne store alongside the traditional point of sale system before the fully cashless and cardless offering launched at 7-Eleven’s new concept store in Richmond, part of the business’ new national office.

To shop at the store consumers need to download the 7-Eleven store app, create a user profile by linking their credit card and uploading a selfie.

Looking to the future, McKay said the company will continue to develop new ways to expand on the concept of convenience, including trialling a catering service this year.

“We’re thinking about ways to provide an extraordinary experience to more customers, more often, in more ways that suit them. That might be delivery, it might be micro store formats. We’re trying to push the notion of ‘convenience’ to its absolute limit,” he said.

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