Retail

7-Eleven Expands Its Facial Recognition Technology

As facial recognition technology explodes worldwide, 7-Eleven expands the reach of its artificial intelligence platform to 11,000 stores across Thailand.

The facial recognition technology, which was developed by U.S.-based Remark Holdings, is supposedly accurate more than 96 percent of the time. Combined with behavior analysis, the tech will be used to identify loyalty members, analyze in-store traffic, monitor product levels, measure customer emotions and suggest products to consumers while they shop.

Facial recognition has been expanding rapidly of late — particularly in Asia and most especially in China, where customers tap into the feature to pay for a wide variety of day-to-day experiences, like ATM transactions, transportation, food and even financial services.

Remark has partnerships with Alibaba, Tencent and Baidu, making it a powerful player in the Chinese market.

The rollout at Thailand’s 7-Eleven stores is, however, the biggest expansion of the technology to date, particularly in a retail context: It could potentially be the largest number of facial recognition cameras to be adopted by one company in history. And Thai customers — of which there are about 69 million — send 10 million consumers to a 7-Eleven store each day to tap into the wide array of services on offer from the retailer, such as phone-charging stations, bill pay services, dry cleaning, driver’s license renewal and — always popular — warm, cheap localized foods. Ever had a burger on a bun of sticky rice? Go to a 7-Eleven in Thailand; they sell them.

“No corporate entity is so entrenched in Thai lives,” stated a report from Public Radio International.

The 7-Eleven launch, noted Remark, is just the latest and greatest, and there’s more on the way. The firm’s chairman confirmed plans to bring the tech to Ping-An Insurance Group, one of the world’s largest insurers, with assets worth more than $800 billion.

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