Doha, Qatar: Powered by Commercial Bank’s payment acceptance solution, Lulu MEA opened first-of-its-kind cashier-less checkout service at Hamad International Airport Metro Station’s Lulu Express.

During the inaugural ceremony held yesterday, numerous senior officials including Group CEO of Commercial Bank Joseph Abraham and Director of Lulu Group International Dr. Mohamed Althaf were present.

The store is the first in Qatar and second in the region to have tested its unique solution. Customers can tap their credit cards to access the store with a refundable QR1. Each item picked by the individual is automatically added to the digital shopping cart, and the purchase is completed when the customer leaves the store.

With these convenient check-out services offered, customers will be free from queues, cashiers, and waiting time at the counter.

As this significant milestone is placed into effect, the officials highlighted that similar services can be expected across the country in the foreseeable future.

Speaking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event, Joseph Abraham said: “When people see this, of course everyone will want to adapt this. This innovation tends to spread and becomes adopted across.”

He further commented that adopting such technologies aims ultimately for a better customer experience in the country.

“Our goal is to embrace the moment and make it useful for everyone. Next, we have facial recognition, where you don’t even need to tap your card,” Abraham remarked adding that “Biometric is more powerful” and the same technology with vital opportunities will be explored soon.

However, only credit card payment methods are accepted in the store as the official indicates few regulatory frameworks are remaining and customers can avail of the service using debit cards soon.

With the launch of its first cashier-less service at the metro station, Lulu officials are optimistic about expanding the initiative.

“We are planning how to make the whole thing frictionless including the transaction,” Dr. Mohamed Althaf told The Peninsula.

Althaf reflected that Hamad Airport Metro Station’s Lulu Express serves as an ideal spot to test this specific technology. By providing the service in Qatar, it aims at enabling all visitors that arrive in the country as international credit cards will also be accepted in the store.

Lulu Group’s director stressed that the service provider is already a huge success in the country and needs to deploy more staff for productive assistance.

He added “I would say today that every business has become an AI business and they have started to positively impact the supermarkets too. So I think these are the baby steps towards a global transformation.”

The Lulu Express cashier-less experience is similar to convenience store concepts in the US.

The store at Hamad International Airport Metro Station is equipped with multiple cameras mounted in the ceiling and is powered by a combination of computer vision and machine learning to follow the shopper’s movement inside the
store. These cameras use accurate tracking technology to identify shoppers through their body structure.

As the country enhances itself into a global leading innovation and technology hub, the cashier-less checkout service is poised to be a notable solution provider.

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