- NCR has acquired Stoplift Checkout Vision Systems, an intelligent computer vision system provider that seeks to prevent theft in the retail environment, particularly for self-checkout systems, the company announced yesterday. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- To help retailers address concerns about shrink, NCR will integrate StopLift’s artificial intelligence capabilities to detect unusual and potentially fraudulent actions by analyzing security video and data.
- "This acquisition will help NCR accelerate growth in our market-leading self-checkout and store transformation solutions," Michael Hayford NCR President and CEO said in a statement. "In addition to creating new value for our retail customers around the world, StopLift’s fraud detection technology will be a key enabler of our frictionless commerce product strategy."
Self-checkout has been praised and vilified by retailers and their customers, but it has saved on labor, sped up front-end lines and enabled shoppers to check themselves out at their own convenience. But theft remains a challenge, particularly for the self-checkout lanes. Meanwhile, the development of new self-scan, scan-by-employee and "just-walk-out" POS technologies is a brave new world for shrink and theft detection, although it may turn out to be more secure.
Left unmonitored, cashiers can engage in different types of fraud, such as "sweethearting" – giving away merchandise while pretending to scan it – passing items around the scanner, covering the barcodes of items so they won’t scan, or ignoring items in the basket.
Some self-checkout customers may leave unscanned items in their baskets either inadvertently or on purpose. Others use "the banana trick," putting in an inexpensive produce code when scanning a meat item. Although some retailers have cut back on self-checkout lanes, the number of self-checkout terminals worldwide is expected to reach 325,000 by next year, up from 191,000 in 2013. Consulting firm RBR said a record 49,000 self-checkout terminals were delivered to retailers in 2016, and expects over 400,000 self-checkout terminals to be deployed in over 60 countries by 2022.
The StopLift ScanItAll system uses AI to analyze video provided by retailers’ security systems and compare it to a transactional data feed from the point-of-sale system, and then flag suspicious activity. StopLift said it has detected and confirmed more than 3 million scan-avoidance issues at regular checkouts and self-checkouts in the U.S. and globally.
NCR, a provider of POS systems and equipment, plans to integrate StopLift’s technology with its own to help retailers become more effective in combating shrink. NCR recently acquired payment processor JetPay as part of its strategy to develop recurring revenue, and offer software and services, ZDNet reported. NCR expects to integrate JetPay's cloud-based payments platform with its enterprise POS terminals.