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How Żabka is redefining convenience with autonomous stores

Learn about the role of payments in building new solutions for commerce.

November 29, 2022
 ·  4 minutes
How Żabka is redefining convenience with autonomous stores

Whether you’re rushing to a gym class and need to buy some water, or grabbing chocolate for a movie night at home, there’s nothing more irritating than checkout queues that take more time than the actual shopping. Luckily, payments innovations are making it easy for retailers to put convenience at the front and center of their customer experience. Today, every stage of shopping can be optimized, with fewer clicks, fewer steps, multiple payment options, and multiple channels to finalize the transaction. But for future-focused businesses like Żabka, this is just the beginning.

“Payments are becoming an increasingly seamless and invisible part of shopping. If transactions without consumer involvement were associated with subscriptions or transport platforms, then the model introduced in the Nano stores chain has sparked a new way of thinking about grocery shopping. Payments are now completely unnoticeable."

Paweł GrabowskiHead of Unmanned Solutions, Żabka Future.

Discover how this Polish retailer is taking quick and seamless shopping to the next level with Europe’s largest chain of autonomous, AI-powered stores.

The challenge: Crafting convenience with cutting-edge payments

Żabka Nano is currently Europe’s largest chain of autonomous convenience stores. The stores are open 24/7, but there are no personnel or shopping baskets, and you’ll never find a checkout area. With the opening of the first 50 Nano stores, Żabka gave new meaning to the idea of ultra-convenience, where the essential process of in-person payments no longer takes up valuable store space – or the even more valuable time of customers.

“We opened the first store in June 2021. Others started springing up very quickly until we surpassed 50* within 12 months, making us Europe’s largest chain of autonomous stores,” says Paweł.

* As of August 2022.

“We were looking for a payments partner that would be able to ensure innovation, speed, and reliability. Adyen offered all of these values.'

Head of Unmanned Solutions, Żabka FuturePaweł Grabowski

The solution: The autonomous future of retail

Żabka Nano uses an innovative method of authorization and payments for shopping. Designed with Adyen, the solution enables customers to gain entrance to a store by placing or tapping the payment card on the terminal. This opens the store doors and begins a pre-authorization process which enables automated payments later on. In addition, recognition of a returning customer is supported by multiple functionalities provided by Adyen (e.g. card acquisition).

Once inside, it only takes a moment to make a purchase – customers can take their chosen products off the shelf and simply leave. A camera system then uses artificial intelligence algorithms to identify the goods taken, charge the right amount, and then automatically finalize the payment using the payment card scanned on entrance. The entire payment process takes place in the background. Receipts are then sent to the customer’s phone number, which are provided on first-time visits.

Working closely with stakeholders, Adyen designed the entire process to deliver a payments flow that fulfilled all the requirements set by Żabka, regulators, compliance, and users.

The result: Invisible payments for innovative experiences

“This solution looks very easy for customers, and this was our main goal. To achieve this, we had to create a very advanced backend packed with cutting-edge technologies. We don’t know the value of a customer’s shopping when they enter the store. The proper authorization flow and support from Adyen let us handle payments without requiring additional actions from the customer,” says Paweł Grabowski.

“Besides an innovative approach, we needed a Partner who would understand the business aspects of our solution and for the technology to be as convenient as possible for the user.”

Patryk PowierżaGrowth Lead, Żabka Future

The concept’s success is measured by the positive opinions of consumers who use Żabka Nano and share their experiences. Żabka’s Net Promoter Score (NPS) continues to stand at 85 points, and the stores are rapidly growing in popularity.

“We knew that only through collaborating with the right partner – one capable of exceeding our expectations – would enable us to build an entirely new solution together. Even in the face of complexity, Adyen was a partner that could take on this task and complete it successfully,” says Patryk.

“We were looking for a payment services supplier that would be able to ensure innovation, speed, and reliability. Adyen offered all of these values,” adds Paweł.

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