Unattended Retail

NEW REPORT: Three Square Market Puts Its Chip On The Table (And Into Employees)

One of latest unattended retail solutions could someday have customers waving goodbye to old payment methods. And while they’re waving, they’ll also be paying for snacks and beverages in the company snack room.

The August edition of the PYMNTS.com Unattended Retail Tracker™ showcases the latest developments in unattended retail, including new solutions for vending machines, groceries and public transit.

Unattended solutions invite big changes to commerce

The food and beverage industries have served up some impressive unattended innovations in recent weeks that could leave a lasting impact on the way consumers shop for food. For starters, one company’s innovation can deliver more than just groceries. With self-driving tech and navigation systems, it can bring the whole grocery store directly to consumers. Swedish company Wheelys Café began testing an automated mobile supermarket in China that allows customers to enter the mobile facility and pay for items via smartphone app.

In the U.S., Walmart has thrown down the grocery gauntlet and made it clear that Amazon won’t be the only retail giant active in the unattended food shopping systems market. After Amazon announced its drive-up service AmazonFresh Pickup, Walmart revealed its own program, a drive-up kiosk that lets customers order and then pick up their groceries using a five-digit code on their phone to unlock a storage bin.

Supermarkets and grocery stores are not the only venues getting a makeover on account of unattended solutions. Take restaurant chain Subway, for instance, which is moving forward with redesigned locations that will offer self-order kiosks with digital menus and will accept Apple and Samsung Pay. In addition to food, the beverage market is also seeing some impressive innovations. Soft drink behemoth Coca-Cola recently released its own revamped unattended solution with a modern twist. The company announced a new AI-powered mobile app that allows customers to order drinks and then pick them up at vending machines. The machines use the AI to gain deeper insights and understandings into consumer spending patterns.

A brave new world of microchips and unattended tech

One of the most buzzworthy developments in unattended tech in recent weeks is from Wisconsin-based micro market solutions and technology company Three Square Market. The company had some of its employees voluntarily fitted with microchips implanted beneath their skin. With the tech in hand (literally), employees can buy items from the company’s snack and beverage kiosks, unlock doors instead of using key cards and access computers without inputting usernames or passwords. For the August Tracker’s feature story, PYMNTS caught up with Three Square Market’s President and COO Patrick McMullan about why company employees were interested in participating in the controversial program and how the tech could prove disruptive for retail, public transportation and banking. McMullan also shared his thoughts on how implanted tech like this could open the doors to more societies becoming cashless.

To read the feature story and for the latest news and trends and a directory of over 100 providers, check out the PYMNTS.com Unattended Retail™ Tracker.

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About the Tracker

The PYMNTS.com Unattended Retail Tracker™ serves as a bimonthly framework for the space, providing coverage of the most recent news and trends, as well as a provider directory to highlight the key players contributing across the segments that comprise the expansive unattended retail ecosystem.



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