Japan will raise its consumption tax to 10 percent from 8 percent in October, though some items will be unaffected by the change. This is causing problems for some smaller retailers who will have to juggle with dual tax rates at the cash register. Technology company NTT Data has a possible remedy for this headache: ditch the cash register entirely.
NTT Data opened an experimental store to test the system in Tokyo.
Shoppers enter by scanning a QR code into a smartphone reader at the entrance. Sensors and cameras track what shoppers remove from the shelves and add them to the bill on the phone. When the customer exits, the items are automatically charged.
The company says the technology also offers labor-saving benefits because all transactions are handled by the customer's phone.
NTT Data plans to run more tests with convenience stores and supermarkets. The target is to have the system in commercial use next year and running in 1,000 stores by March 2023.