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7-Eleven wants South Koreans to pay with their hands

No, the king of convenience stores isn't about to start chopping off arms. It's testing a palm-reading payment system.

Zoey Chong Reporter
Zoey is CNET's Asia News Reporter based in Singapore. She prefers variety to monotony and owns an Android mobile device, a Windows PC and Apple's MacBook Pro all at the same time. Outside of the office, she can be found binging on Korean variety shows, if not chilling out with a book at a café recommended by a friend.
Zoey Chong
2 min read

A new 7-Eleven outlet in South Korea will enable customers to make payment by hand, literally.

Korea Seven

What if you could pay for groceries with a wave of your hand? Well, 7-Eleven has brought this convenience to customers in South Korea this week.

The global chain of convenience outlets opened a new store on Tuesday at the world's fifth tallest building, Lotte World Tower. The store is testing a self-checkout system which allows you to pay with nothing but your hand. The news was announced on a blog post by Korea Seven, which manages the 7-Eleven franchises in South Korea.

If you're looking to try it, however, you might have to get a job at Lotte or one of its affiliated companies. The beta run, which lasts till end of July, will only serve Lotte staff.

The tech industry has worked on various efforts to simplify the purchasing process in recent years. It's previously focused on developing mobile wallets and biometric authentication methods such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition.

The 7-Eleven Signature outlet will be the world's first unmanned convenience store to be equipped with HandPay. It's a biometric authentication method that identifies customers through palm scans. The system will identify the products being bought with a 360-degree scanning technique.

Only customers that have registered with HandPay will be able to enter the outlet. They'll need to scan the palm of their hand at the entrance of the store to confirm their identity.

The shop will be monitored by CCTVs, although Nikkei Asian Review suggests that flying drones could guard the outlet in future. CNET has reached out to Lotte Data Communication -- 7-Eleven's partner in this scheme -- to find out whether that's true.

It is unclear whether 7-Eleven plans to introduce this system in other countries.

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