Wirecard pilots cashless payments at Munich airport

Wirecard has teamed with wirecube, an Austrian software maker of digital retail checkout technology, to pilot cashierless checkout targeting travelers in Munich’s airport.

Consumers may buy items directly from shelves at the shop using their smartphones via a mobile website that leverages NFC-powered mobile payments, according to a Thursday press release from Wirecard, which is based in Germany. The system does not require a traditional point of sale system.

The process, designed for one-time or occasional purchases, begins when users scan a price tag with their phone, triggering a prompt to provide their credit card by scanning the card with the camera’s phone or manually entering account details, the press release said.

The advantage of Wirecard’s approach, which uses electronic shelf labels created by France-based SES-imagotag, is that users need not download an app. Other cashierless stores such as Amazon Go require the use of an app to check in.

“Instead of long waiting times at the checkout, travelers can now expect a fast, seamless and digital shopping experience,” said Alexander Hahn, vice president of retail sales at Wirecard, in the release.

“As a subsidiary of Munich Airport, we expect sales growth, especially for fast-moving goods purchased on the go,” said Sven Zahn, managing director of Flughafen Munchen’s eurotrade shop selling lifestyle goods and gifts in Munich’s airport.

Munich is Germany’s second-largest airport, with annual passenger volume of 48 million, and Wirecard is working to expand the concept within the airport and to other airports soon, Wirecard said in the release.

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