Sainsbury’s is paving the way toward a cash-free society after launching Britain’s first till-free store on a three-month trial basis, with customers encouraged to pay for purchases via their smartphone.
Instead of queuing at the checkout customers must install a proprietary Smartshop app to scan products as they place them in their basket. These can then be paid for at a bagging area using Google Pay or Apple Pay, scanning a code to confirm payment.
Customers looking to sate their vices will be left out in the cold however with all alcohol and tobacco products removed from sale to circumvent time-consuming manual age-verification checks by staff.
The Sainsbury’s Local outlet at London's Holborn Circus has been completely refurbished for the trial with the removal of all till infrastructure – although note and coin diehards will still be able to pay the old fashioned way if willing to queue at a helpdesk manned by a single member of staff.