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How Face Recognition Cracked the Case of the Self-Checkout Shoplifter

Retail is quickly speeding toward a cashier-less world. While self-scan technology has been used by grocery stores for years, trendsetter Amazon recently previewed a completely cashier-less vision for the near-future. Retailers love the technology because it saves money on staffing, but there’s a problem: getting rid of cashiers may make it easier to steal.

Fortunately, there’s a solution. To combat shoplifting, hundreds of retail locations across the U.S. have deployed FaceFirst’s retail security platform, which utilizes face recognition to detect repeat offenders and notify in-store personnel to approach them before a crime can happen. When it comes to self-checkout, however, face recognition is useful in catching shoplifters in the act.

We just heard from a retail customer who used FaceFirst to do just that. A known shoplifter was enrolled in the database after a previous offense. The next time he entered the store, FaceFirst notified in-store security, who observed the man as he browsed and later entered the self-checkout line, where he paid for some – but not all – of his items. This time, he was caught in the act, apprehended, and the merchandise was saved.

We’re going to see many more scenes like this in the future. According to a study from Juniper Research, retail and grocery stores are expected to process more than $78 billion in cashier-less transactions by 2022 (up from $9.8 billion this year). Self-scan technology is also expected to be deployed at more than 5,000 new retail outlets over the next five years.

Self-checkout expedites lines and improves convenience.  As more retailers move toward self-checkout, however, it will become even more essential to implement technology that safeguards merchandise. Face recognition has already risen to the challenge. Today, we’re helping our customers secure self-checkout. And in the near-term, we plan to roll out new, innovative solutions that will greatly enhance both retail security and customer experiences. Stay tuned.


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