Monday, February 12, 2018

Retailer Albert Heijn demonstrating innovation and making payments the afterthought it is

Three years ago, when we were all pondering the impact of PSD2 on the payments market, I was challenged to outline where I believed the innovation in payments would occur. My response then was that we needn't forget the area that we forget to look when speaking at banks. I was in particular referring to retailers, using technical innovations to provide shopping solutions with an almost invisible payment experience afterwards (based on old school direct debits).

Fast forward to today, where it turns out that by summer (the time we may indeed implement the PSD2 in the Netherlands) Albert Heijn will open its first checkout-free AH to go store. The store, the first of its kind in the Netherlands, will be located at a high-traffic location in Amsterdam and will be deployed with “tap to go” technology that allows customers to pay for groceries with a card or a smartphone without going through the register. 

As the video shows, the card itself will be an NFC-card version of the well-known loyaltycard (Bonuskaart). It uses the identification features of the card to register the purchases, with payments occuring later via the regular direct debit mechanisms of banks.

So there we are: we find a non-bank, identity-based commercial app that uses new technology to make payments the afterthought that they really are. And we will see many more to come.