Photo: Lawson

One of Japan’s biggest convenience store chains testing walk-through cashless payment system

By Casey Baseel, SoraNews24

Japanese convenience stores are wonderful places, full of all sorts of delicious drinks and fabulous foods, from teas and coffees to onigiri rice balls and desserts. Having something for everyone, though, means that sometimes it feels like everyone is making a convenience store run at the same time as you are.

That can make the shopping experience, unfortunately, not so convenient as you wait in a long line to pay for your purchase. But convenience store chain Lawson is looking to eliminate that problem with its new Lawson Go store type, which allows you to completely skip the cash register by making walk-through cashless payments.


All you need to do prior to your arrival is download the Lawson Go app to your phone and register a credit card. The app will give you a QR code to display at the store’s entrance.


Inside the store, cameras follow shoppers’ movements, and the shelves have weight sensors that can confirm when an item has been picked up. That data is enough for the system to determine who’s taken what items, and so you can then just walk right out with them, and Lawson will bill your credit card plus send a digital receipt to you through the app.


Lawson isn’t ready to add the walk-through payment option to all of its stores just yet, but a special Lawson Go test store opened inside the Mitsubishi Shokuhin building in Tokyo’s Bunkyo Ward earlier this month, helping busy office workers grab lunch with less stress and more time to relax during their midday break, and if all goes well we might see more Lawson Go branches in busy business districts and other places where shoppers are often pressed for time, like train stations, in the future.

Source, images: Lawson

Read more stories from SoraNews24.

-- Lawson begins first self-service convenience store in Tokyo, no line-ups necessary

-- How to use Japanese convenience store Lawson’s self-checkout terminals

-- Revolutionary new A.I. self-checkout system in Japan calculates all your items with one glance

© SoraNews24

©2023 GPlusMedia Inc.

Login to comment

Not something that I will ever do as I have never waited more than a few minutes to be served…ever

5 ( +9 / -4 )

The old expression, just because you can doesn't mean you should.

Do we need this? Probably not.

I watch a "reverse culture shock" video about Americans returning to the USA and being shocked.

These types of stores shocked them but what was crazy was the full door display screen supposedly showing what is in the refrigerator flashing adds and looking so modern.

Then they open to find have the shelves empty.

So the items in the screen are sold out, a simple see through glass door as we already have does the job and cost less to make in energy to the environment and to run

But again seems we need to complicate things to make our lives supposedly "better"

1 ( +9 / -8 )

Many stores and transport already accept smartphone payments. We use it daily.

Contactless payments are very convenient.

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

This is happening so they do not need to hire and pay employees. This is the only reason. They do not care at all about society and is citizens at all. Think.

10 ( +12 / -2 )

It's crazy how good technology is getting!

0 ( +3 / -3 )

one thing they could do right away is turn the convenience stores into giant vending machines. The products could be behind a glass window. You touch a screen indicating what you want and pay for it before it drops down to you.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Manny Perry - It's crazy how good technology is getting!

You are assuming it works/will work correctly.

6 ( +7 / -1 )

The shelf weight system seems vulnerable. What if you take something then put it back? Or put it back on the wrong shelf? Lining up for a couple of minutes isn't so bad. Uniqlo's system at some stores is quite good where the items don't need to be scanned individually and the total comes up right away. Lawson should aim for that as a first step. i.e. you put all your stuff on a special counter and it scans them all at once and then you pay.

2 ( +3 / -1 )

Where are these long lines and stress this article is talking about? It's almost as if the author never actually visited a kombini.

5 ( +6 / -1 )

This is happening so they do not need to hire and pay employees. 

It's probably happening because they cannot get employees. Convenience stores have been hit hard by a labor shortage.

I'd thought they'd have used RFID chips. With their price now just two or three yen, tagging items would be cheaper than hiring cashiers.

1 ( +3 / -2 )

I'd thought they'd have used RFID chips.

That’s nice for demonstration or show effects, but not for practice. RFID chips, cards and tokens are very unsafe and in principle they can be manipulated or copied etc in multiple easy ways by everyone. But you don’t even need to. Many people will just take an expensive and a cheap product from the shelves , then change the RFID and put the cheaper back again, of course also balancing the exact weight could be made if the system goes for that parameter. And then they have it, the expensive article at the price of the cheap one and the system doesn’t recognize it at all. Well, and if thousands of people do it that way, than also the camera surveillance is useless because society can’t can’t afford to put into prison all the few remaining people that should work everyday for the low wages that made them trick the RFID system. So finally the only option left is to go back to the former shopping systems and procedure without RFID or other digital technologies.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

I'm totally down for this kind of stuff. They've been doing it in America for years already. Even places here like Uniqlo are only a few steps away from having this.

Here's the catch.

Baba-ba-chan doesn't have someone to complain to, or buy smokes from.

Geegee-ji-chan still can't forget the days where he walked through 10 km of snow and ice uphill to get to the combini. It would be depressing not to see a face behind the counter congratulating him on his hard work.

That, plus it's way too hard for me to get a credit card here.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

One of Japan’s biggest convenience store chains testing walk-through cashless payment system

Bad news for foreigners workers. Bye bye!

-5 ( +2 / -7 )

They've been doing it in America for years already. 

Yeah right. In America, they call it Smash and Grab. You just take what you want. You dont have to pay.

-8 ( +1 / -9 )

This is happening so they do not need to hire and pay employees.

You mean the foreign ones.

-7 ( +1 / -8 )

Really hope the "Lawson go" app is really secure, one thing is to store names and phone numbers for coupons and points, another completely different is to have also credit card information and a code that can be used to charge your account for anything taken from the store.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

Very convenient and may very well be the way of the future for all the cost of privacy and human contact. No thanks.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

Really good idea. No having to wait in line deal with the cashier, fumbling around for cash/cards. Just bring your eco bags, fill em up and walk straight out! Plus it reduces the need for human or robots to work shifts.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Really hope the "Lawson go" app is really secure

Regardless if it is secure it will not work for most tourists and anyone without an official Japanese carrier issued phone.

To work the phone needs keitasaifu and that requires FeliCa which is only available in phones officially paying for it through NFC chips.

So despite my phone having a Japanese system being purchased from a large electronic box store it is a non contract non carrier phone so no way to get FeliCa.

1 ( +2 / -1 )

I just send my assistant out shopping for me. With yen this cheap it is stupid to waste my own time.

-1 ( +1 / -2 )

Just walk out without paying!! Eveyone wears a mask here, so how in hell are they gonna catch anyone anyways.

0 ( +2 / -2 )

There are a couple of shops in central London like this. They are not popular.

3 ( +3 / -0 )

Very popular in the U.S.

It will only get more popular.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

And as soon as you leave you discover your shopping trip has generated a cascade of banner ads from all and sundry on your phone and on your computer at home. You might ever get prompted on your next visit to buy the same items you bought the last time, since the store now knows you like them . Just saying ......

I will stick to cash.

2 ( +2 / -0 )

Notifications from any app on a smartphone can be turned off.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

Just another way to make CEOs richer (by not paying people)

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I just learned how to turn on/off a laptop. Next week I am going to buy a cell phone. My friends say life is easier if you have a cell phone.

1 ( +1 / -0 )

I liked Seiyu's self-check outs until one day when the scanner pinged twice for a single item, charging me extra. I wanted a refund, so I had to wait about a 10 minutes for a human staff member to become free, and she spent about 20 minutes analyzing my receipt and tracking down the purchase through the store's system. I should have also asked for compensation for the 30 minutes of my life they stole.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Login to leave a comment

Facebook users

Use your Facebook account to login or register with JapanToday. By doing so, you will also receive an email inviting you to receive our news alerts.

Facebook Connect

Login with your JapanToday account

User registration

Articles, Offers & Useful Resources

A mix of what's trending on our other sites