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AI Service for Retailers Aims to Limit Checkout Fraud

According to Leicester University research, in 2.88% of self-checkout transactions at least one of the items is mis-scanned. In total approx. 0.52% of all items are mis-scanned via self-checkout resulting in heavy losses for retailers. The research analyzed 140 million self-checkout transactions. 17 million post checkout audits were performed finding 486.000 items not being scanned at all.

Shopping bags, loose fruit, alcoholic and soft drinks were among the most popular mis-scanned items.

“In self-checkout the responsibility of properly scanning the items and paying for them lies with the customer. However, only a small fraction of mis-scanning happens due to customer fraud. Customers may fail to enter a proper number of items or it might be a packaging issue, when a few barcodes on the item are present. Most often items are simply forgotten in the shopping cart” – notes CEO of EasyFlow Simas Jokubauskas.

CEO of EasyFlow

Simas Jokubauskas, CEO of EasyFlow

EasyFlow develops a Computer Vision application for checkout monitoring. By harnessing object recognition and Artificial intelligence, the platform can identify what item is being scanned and whether the item matches the barcode. The software can automatically alert store employees about suspicious customer behavior, as well as notify about items left in the shopping cart. EasyFlow software can monitor self-checkout as well as manned checkout transactions. The solution will not only allow grocers to reduce losses due to checkout errors, but enable them to better account for goods still in stock.

“In cashier checkout operations the error rate is twice as low. But errors can happen due to human factors or – in a rare case – employee malfeasance” – notes Mr Jokubauskas.

In the words of Mr Jokubauskas, the retail industry is a prime example for object recognition and artificial intelligence applications.

“We are moving in the direction of cashier-less stores, where checkout is instant and automatic. For this vision to come true, the technology still needs to improve. However, even today similar applications can serve as a solution to mitigate checkout loses” – says Mr Jokubauskas.

According to the National Retail Federation (USA), approx. 1.4% of sales value is lost to shoplifting, checkout fraud, cashier and employee errors (mis-scanning items at self-checkout or by the cashier; overlooked items in shopping carts), totaling more than $50 billion in losses.

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