Indonesia's first cashier-free store uses facial recognition
20 August 2018 10:33 GMT Posted by • Laura Camplisson

Chinese e-commerce company JD.com has just opened the first completely unmanned convenience store in Indonesia.

The newly opened store – the JD.ID X-Mart - is located in the PIK Avenue shopping mall in Jakarta and uses RFID and facial recognition technology to sell beauty products, snacks and drinks to its customers, without the need for cashiers.

Covering an area of 270m2, the X-Mart is now the largest of JD’s stores to operate using the firm’s cashier-free technology.

To make use of the technology a shopper needs to download the JD.ID X-Mart app on their mobile device and generate a QR code from their account. The QR code is scanned by a detection machine at the shop entrance, while the shopper looks into a camera. Once their facial profile and digital identity are confirmed as a match, the shopper is granted access.

In store, customers can simply select the products they wish to buy from the shelves. At the checkout terminal, a shopper’s identity is once again confirmed biometrically, using facial recognition. The total cost of their products (identified by the attached RFIDs) is calculated and charged to the credit card linked to the smartphone app. The customer is then able to exit the store.

Image: JD.com corporate blog

To further optimize shopping experience, cameras placed around the store recognise customers' movements, to allow for monitoring of traffic flow, product selection and customer preferences. This helps JD to optimise inventory, product displays and store management.

JD.com state that the store offers an unprecedented level of convenience for customers in the country – they can simply pick up whatever they want and walk straight out of the store without getting slowed down by lines or payments.

A spokesperson, speaking to Food Navigator Asia, explained, “The stores are part of JD’s broader retail as a service strategy, where we are focused on developing our technology and capabilities.”

The opening of the Indonesian JD.ID X-Mart, follows the emergence of a wave of cashier-free stores across China, over the past few years. Both JD and its rival Alibaba have been key players in this trend.

JD’s first unmanned store opened at their headquarters in Beijing in October 2017 and the company now operates more than 20 across China.

The extension of the project to Indonesia, suggests the use of facial recognition to provide the ultimate shopping experience shows no signs of slowing down in the years to come.