Walmart rolling out new self-checkout application

Walmart is testing a new mobile application that lets customers scan and check themselves out.

As the world of mobile commerce continues to grow, it is starting to take on a few different looks. The most common versions are the tablet POS terminal, where iPads take over for traditional cash registers and third party peripherals are plugged into smartphones that turn them into a point of sales system wherever they are.

There is another system, however, that is starting to emerge and it furthers the self checkout trend that many retailers are implementing. Walmart is currently testing a self-checkout mobile application. Known as "scan & Go," it allows customers to scan barcodes of products they wish to purchase with their smartphone. When he or she is ready to check out they click done and a QR code is created that is scanned at the self-checkout terminal where payment is tendered.

The program is very much like the Apple Store app that the consumer electronics company has rolled out which allows customers to scan and purchase less expensive items without ever speaking with a salesperson.

Nikki Baird, a managing partner at Retail Systems Research, was interviewed by Internet Retailer about the challenges that Walmart will be facing. She particularly focused on the hardware format and provide a service with the scan that consumers view as valuable.

"With the hardware, it has seemed like moving to consumers' own devices is a natural evolution. As for the scan itself, it needs to save consumers time or money," said Baird. "If the scans are slow or the QR code is difficult to read or there are questions about the accuracy of scans or pricing, then it may end up being too much of a hassle for consumers to adopt."

This is just another example of the developments that are being made in the mCommerce community that could become the future of the retail payment industry.

by Ty Hardison

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