SelfCheckout and the Cashless Revolution

Convenience Store magazine in the UK ran a feature on the rise of Cashless SelfCheckout installs from CBE. The piece titled ‘THE CASHLESS REVOLUTION’ can be read here or in full below.

Dominic Feeney, CBE MD
Dominic Feeney, CBE MD

How consumers wish to shop and pay for goods has changed dramatically in recent years. Fuelled by the rise of contactless payments and mobile wallets, consumers now want to queue less and pay faster for their items than ever before. How can the c-store retailer meet the demands of the modern consumer? Cashless selfcheckout may just be the answer explains Dominic Feeney, Managing Director at leading retail technology firm CBE.

There were 14.8 billion card transactions in the UK in 2016, equivalent to 40.5 million transactions a day or 469 a second, with a quarter of all card transactions now made via contactless, data from The UK Cards Association shows. The reason that most consumers now pay with card is for convenience and for speed of service at the checkout. The ability to accept card payments and contactless payments in particular is no longer a choice but a must for all retailers – regardless of the size of their store.

Aligned with this is the fact that retailers now require new ways of differentiating themselves from their competitors in order to give themselves a competitive advantage in a very crowded marketplace. The adoption of cashless self-checkout in a number of convenience stores has provided such a difference and has proven to be very successful thus far for technology provider CBE. CBE are an ELITE partner of NCR, the global leader in self-checkout technology, and have introduced the NCR selfcheckout to the independent retail sector in the UK. Whilst self-checkout technology is not new in the UK, the adoption in the c-store sector certainly is and the uptake in the cashless self-checkout solution has been a pleasant surprise to both CBE and NCR.

Cashless selfcheckout in SPAR Hull University
Cashless selfcheckout in SPAR Hull University

“Our research indicated that the independent retail sector in the UK is now looking to embrace self-checkout in their stores and the uptake to date has surpassed our initial expectations” says Adam Knapp, Channel Account Manager, NCR Corporation.

Knapp continued, “When today’s consumers go into a retail store, they have no intention of standing in a queue, if there is the option of self-checkout. We appreciate that customer service is of paramount importance to independent retailers. For a lot of people, being able to go into a store, grab something, pay for it and leave, without having to stand in line is exactly the sort of customer service experience they are looking for.”

Andy King, Director of Commercial Services at Hull University who have implemented self-checkout in their SPAR store explains, “We have a high percentage of transactions going through our cashless self-checkout terminals each day. Our customers now prefer to use them and they generally get used first, before the regular tills. This has enabled us to reduce queues at peak times which have improved our customers shopping experience. We are looking at opening another store and self-checkout will definitely be included.”

Nick Baker from Abbeyside Filling Station in Selby will be the first independent petrol station in the UK to install cashless self-checkout. Operating under the Jet and SPAR brands, Nick outlined his reasons for embracing the new technology, “I may be the first but I expect that many more will follow as our customers now expect more efficient ways of paying for their goods. My main reason for installing the cashless self-checkouts is to queue bust at peak periods. It also solves the problem of disgruntled fuel customers due to grocery shoppers slowing down the queue or vice versa”.

There are many benefits to installing the cashless self-checkout solution:

  • Allows for greater throughput of transactions at peak periods without the need for additional staff
  • Reduces queues at peak periods
  • Offers consumers choice as to which type of checkout they wish to use
  • Eliminates any issue with cash pilferage as all transactions are processed electronically with a credit/debit card or mobile wallet
  • Reduces business costs as the transaction fees for processing cards are much less than bank fees for lodging cash
  • Enables staff to tend to other tasks during off-peak times such as replenishment of stock, newspaper returns, general upkeep of the area around the checkouts etc.

James Hall & Co. is a SPAR wholesaler and distributor serving over 580 stores in the North of England and was the first wholesaler in the UK to strategically invest in self-checkout. They approached CBE investigating ways to improve speed of service and reduce queues within their busy sites. Following a survey and consultation at their SPAR store in Lancaster University, it was agreed that they install the cashless self-checkout solution which seamlessly integrates to the CBE POS solution already in operation.

“We needed to radically rethink how we wanted the stores to operate”, commented Sheridan Hindle, IT Director at James Hall & Co. “Our customer requirements have changed as they are more technology savvy than ever before. Customers now welcome new innovations and people really dislike queuing. As such, the option of installing the cashless self-checkouts based on CBE’s research filled us with both excitement and apprehension!”.

Cashless selfcheckout in SPAR Lancaster University
Cashless selfcheckout in SPAR Lancaster University

Following the installation in SPAR Lancaster University, Sheridan Hindle was delighted with the success of the installation, “The owners of SPAR Lancaster University were very enthusiastic about the project. Thankfully it’s been extremely successful with almost 40% of customers using it on a daily basis and 75% of all card transactions in the store are now done on the self-checkouts. We certainly plan to install more Self-Checkouts in our stores in the coming months and it will undoubtedly become an integral part of our customer offering.”

The implementation of cashless self-checkouts allows retailers to make maximum use of limited floor space. Prior to an installation CBE undertakes a thorough analysis of the stores layout, performance, basket size and customer distribution and current tilling capacity. From this, an in-depth performance report is generated that outlines if the store is a viable option for self-checkout, the type of self-checkouts to install and the number of units required. This consultation phase allows for a successful deployment of the new solution with a return on investment possible within 12 months.

Click here to find out more about the CBE self-checkout solutions and see how they can benefit your business.