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Seven-Eleven opens trial store in Tokyo using facial recognition payment system

An NEC Corp. employee makes an automated payment after a small camera at a checkout counter recognizes her face in Tokyo's Minato Ward, on Dec. 17, 2018. (Mainichi/Akane Imamura)

TOKYO -- Convenience store giant Seven-Eleven Japan Co. launched a trial 7-Eleven store with a self-checkout system using facial recognition technology here on Dec. 17 as it aims to promote labor-saving measures and introduce cashless payments amid concerns of labor shortages.

The store, located in a building in Tokyo's Minato Ward that houses the NEC Group, uses technology developed by NEC Corp., a major provider of IT services and products. Some 6,000 NEC Group employees can use the shop once their photos are registered in the system. At self-checkout counters, shoppers scan barcodes on products and put their faces close to cameras, which allows payment amounts to be automatically deducted from their salaries.

An official at NEC Corp. said, "We can make payments promptly through the system, reducing the stress of shopping."

Seven-Eleven Japan Co. plans to install the system at small-scale 7-Eleven outlets, such as those inside office buildings, making it the first convenience store chain of its kind in Japan.

(Japanese original by Akane Imamura, Business News Department)

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