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By James Zoltak
Autonomous point-of-sale solutions are the new wave of concessions technologies with the ability to remove friction while offering a safer way of getting and paying for food, drinks and even merchandise in seconds instead of minutes.
Akin to what’s available at many supermarkets, self-service checkout gives guests the opportunity to select an item, scan it, then swipe or tap a credit or debit card or use a digital wallet to complete the transaction.
Cashierless concessions include those powered by Amazon, whose Just Walk Out technology is in use at United Center, TD Garden, Climate Pledge Arena, the Forum and UBS Arena, as well as at airports; Zippin, which is featured at Golden 1 Center, among other venues; and MasterCard, whose modular Shop Anywhere outlet, powered by Accel Robotics, made its debut at TIAA Bank Field in Jacksonville in September.
The idea is simple: scan a form of payment at the entrance of the store, select what you want and be on your way. The charge appears on one’s credit card statement and the systems have proven to be secure and accurate.
Amazon is moving toward biometric palm scanners that will link to a customer’s account, making it unnecessary to present a credit card, phone or even, heaven forbid, cash to make purchases.
The pandemic accelerated the move to contact-free, cashless live event concessions, and the trend shows no signs of slowing down.