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Saturn tests cashierless payments

Pilot project in Munich

Saturn tests cashierless payments

Queuing up at the checkout is now a thing of the past! Following the huge success of Saturn’s pilot project with Europe’s first self-checkout consumer electronics store in Austria, the company is now also testing mobile payments in Germany. Customers can now pay for selected products from the headphone department at Saturn’s store in Munich’s biggest shopping centre PEP using the app SATURN Smartpay. The great thing is that customers can also deactivate the anti-shoplifting system themselves and then immediately leave the store with their purchase. Scheduled to run until the end of November, this pilot project is being conducted in conjunction with Munich-based startup Rapitag. SATURN Smartpay combines the advantages of offline and online shopping: customers benefit from the real-world shopping experience and consumer advice from shop assistants, yet self-checkout simply takes place on an app.

“No one really enjoys queuing, but there’s not yet a standard solution for cashless payment. That’s why we’re trying out different innovative systems,” explained Martin Wild, Chief Innovation Officer of the MediaMarktSaturn Retail Group. “We’re delighted to be able to acquire new, valuable experience in this field with the German-made Rapitag solution.” Using SATURN Smartpay, the consumer electronics retailer wants to find out how mobile payments go down with its customers in Germany. Moreover, it wants to test how well self-checkout works with expensive products protected by an anti-theft tag.

Remko Rijnders, COO of MediaMarktSaturn Germany and head of Saturn’s sales, had this to say: “Self-checkout is something the whole industry is talking about and which we’re studying closely as a first mover in the German retail sector. With our new pilot project, we’re underlining our self-image as an innovation driver turning technology into an experience.”

Download the app, scan and pay, deactivate the tag, and off you go!

The smart anti-shoplifting tag and the app used by customers to deactivate it and pay for purchases have been developed by Rapitag, a Munich startup, which took part in the first batch of MediaMarktSaturn’s startup accelerator Retailtech Hub. Buying a pair of headphones at Saturn’s PEP store in Munich is quick and easy and involves just three simple steps. First of all, the customer downloads the SATURN Smartpay app from the Apple or Google Play Store. After registration, they then hold their smartphone up to the security tag of the product they wish to buy. The anti-shoplifting alarm is automatically deactivated via a Bluetooth interface and the product is paid for. The customer can then leave the store straightaway with their purchase. Sales assistants are always on hand to answer any questions on products or the innovative payment process.

At the moment, the app can be used to pay by credit card or PayPal. After buying something, the customer is sent the receipt by email. The app also serves as a personal purchasing assistant. It provides information about the product, pictures and current prices, and also saves the digital receipt. Furthermore, it has a feedback function so that people can share their experience of self-checkout with Saturn.

Innovative anti-theft system

Rapitag has revolutionized the traditional methods of electronic article surveillance in retail by using the world’s first patented anti-shoplifting system which customers can open themselves by means of smart materials. This new IoT protection prevents both shoplifting and the unauthorized opening of a product in the store. Products can only be opened with a digital key, which is transmitted by the customer’s smartphone once payment by Bluetooth is successful. After activation, the customer simply places the security tag in a special container on the shelf so that it can be used again.

Saturn Express in Innsbruck an unqualified success

Saturn’s first self-checkout pilot project Saturn Express, which was conducted as a pop-up store from March until May 2018 with the UK startup MishiPay in the Austrian city of Innsbruck, was a resounding success. All in all, some 30,000 visitors from all over the world tested Europe’s first cashierless consumer electronics store. And their feedback was thoroughly positive, with more than 85 percent saying they would recommend the store to their friends.