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British tech start-up takes on Amazon in the battle for the High Street


Forbes 30-under-30 alumnus goes head-to-head with Amazon with smartphone-based retail checkout solution

In 2015, MishiPay CEO Mustafa Khanwala waited 20 minutes in a supermarket line to pay for a can of drink. The queue gave him time to consider retail’s most persistent pinch point and trigger the development of MishiPay: a high concept Scan & Go solution that promises to truly revitalise retail.

Khanwala wasn’t the only one thinking about the costly problem of check-out queues, but he is the only one to have found a viable answer, and now the Forbes 30-under-30 alumnus is going head-to-head with Amazon with smartphone-based tech that promises to truly revitalise retail.

The checkout queue has been with us since Memphis retailer Piggly-Wiggly introduced it to the world in 1916, and the model has remained fundamentally unchanged for 104 years.

Self-scan checkouts, introduced in 1992, are both unpopular and inefficient, and Amazon Go’s high-tech camera-based system is too costly to install and too limited in its capabilities for many stores. Neither allows the global retail industry to sidestep the $300 billion cost of queueing and make the long-awaited leap to checkout-free shopping.

MishiPay’s Scan & Go technology makes that evolution possible. In a beautifully simple and hugely liberating process, customers use their smartphones to scan and pay for goods, then leave the store without ever needing to waste time waiting in a queue.

Unlike complicated in-store camera-based alternatives, the MishiPay solution is scaleable, affordable, easily integrated into backroom systems and can be fully operational in as little as three weeks.

For customers, the advantages go beyond the elimination of check-out queues. The shopping experience can be personalised for users with bespoke offers, enriched product information and real-time promotion information synthesising the convenience of online shopping with the instant gratification of physical shopping.

For retailers, it’s not just about reclaiming checkout space. By offering customers queue-free shopping, the $250 billion issue of abandoned baskets is resolved. Analysis shows that through data insights, retargeting and ease of use, basket values can be increased by as much as 36%. Scan & Go can be embedded in existing store apps and can be used to read any type of barcode on any type of product. Staff formerly engaged in check-out operations can be redeployed to deliver value in other areas of the store and the switch to digital receipts could save an estimated 11M trees per year.

MishiPay’s Scan & Go technology has already been adopted by some of the world’s most innovative retailers, including MUJI, Flying Tiger Copenhagen, SPAR and most recently, Paradies Lagardère.

“With MishiPay we are leading the evolution of retail and our technology works for any product, in any store,” said CEO Mustafa Khanwala. “We’re superfast, superscaleable and can go from contract to live within just three weeks. With Scan & Go we’re putting the checkout in the customer’s pocket and bringing the biggest change to the High Street in more than a century.”

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British tech start-up takes on Amazon in the battle for the High Street

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