Lawson Co. will launch a rewards campaign to give points worth 2 percent of each purchase to customers who use self-checkout machines to reduce face-to-face contact at its convenience stores as COVID-19 continues to spread.

The firm, which announced the campaign on Wednesday, said the initiative was made in response to growing demand from customers eager to reduce cashiers’ exposure to the novel coronavirus.

The move is also aimed at preventing the drop in patronage expected when the government’s reward system for cashless payments ends at the end of the month, as most self-checkout machines only accept cashless payments.

Customers will be awarded 1 point for every ¥50 paid at the self-checkout machines by scanning Lawson’s Ponta card or NTT Docomo Inc.’s d point card during payment. Although tax is excluded from the paid sum, there will be no limit to the points that can be accumulated during the campaign, which starts next Wednesday and ends on Aug. 31, according to the company. The points are expected to be redeemable from the end of September.

Customers can use self-checkout at about 7,500 of Lawson’s 14,500 stores nationwide, and 22 of them also accept cash, it said.

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