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How ‘Pay to Tag’ Service Improves In-Store Shopping

Wirecard and SES-imagotag have big plans to advance in-store shopping that sidesteps the dreaded checkout line.

In the search for truly frictionless shopping, digital finance firm Wirecard and retail technology company SES-imagotag will attach an IoT-connected network of more than 500 million electronic shelf labels (ESLs) to Wirecard’s mobile payment platform.

To date, SES-imagotag has already worked with more than 20,000 stores in 62 countries to supply more than 200 million ESLs, along with another 50 million “cloud-connected smart labels,” through its VUSION Retail IoT Cloud platform.

Now the pair will convert this existing network into a “pay to tag” solution in which in-store consumers avoid the hassle of long checkout lines by shifting the point of purchase to the product’s location on the shelf through the use of either QR Codes or NFC technology.

To kick things off, Wirecard’s payment technology will be immediately available on all of SES-imagotag’s IoT price tags.

“Smart labels and smartphones will be the future point of sale,” Michael Unmüßig, senior executive vice president marketing at SES-imagotag said in a statement. “Together with Wirecard we aim at creating a win-win-win deal by making every SES-imagotag smart label a mobile payment and e-coupons terminal that enables frictionless shopping.

“Shoppers will save time and money, brands will improve the efficiency of point of purchase communication, and retailers will be able to upgrade their business model while dramatically enhancing the shopper experience,” Unmüßig continued, adding  “the building blocks of this ‘connected commerce cloud’ are now at hand.”

Wirecard and SES-imagotag have worked together since spring 2018, integrating Wirecard’s payment function into ESLs and successfully launching the program in several international stores. However, SES-imagotag said the technology has several uses beyond mobile payment, including giving in-store consumers access to information like reviews, curated content, loyalty programs and instant digital coupon redemption.

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According to the brands, this elevated consumer connectivity should help automate “low value-added processes” for retailers and increase the efficiency of in-store shopping—especially stateside.

“We are delighted that consumers will be able to benefit from this new technology from now on, especially in the U.S,” Alexander Hahn, the vice president of point of sale retail solutions at Wirecard, explained. “Instead of the traditional customer journey, which sometimes involves long waiting times, shoppers can now expect a fast, seamless and digital shopping experience in participating stores.”

More retailers and brands have begun to capitalize on the value of merging in-store retail experiences with digital advantages. Management consulting firm McKinsey opened its own retail concept in the Mall of America earlier in the month to demonstrate the value of integrating digital touchpoints into physical retail.

According to the firm, 60 percent of all apparel transactions include a digital element, whether that’s searching for reviews or simply ordering a product online for pickup.