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Walmart Tests iPhone App to Speed Up Checkout Process

Wal-Mart storefront
Daniel Aguilar, Getty Images

Walmart, the world’s largest retail chain, is currently testing a “scan and go” iPhone application that would allow customers to scan items as they shop and pay more quickly and conveniently at a self-checkout counter.

The app was tested earlier this week at a supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas, using store employees as well as their friends and relatives with iPhones.

Industry experts say that with the rapid advancements in smartphone technology, consumers should expect to see more of this type of thing popping up at shopping outlets across the country, as retailers look for new ways to hasten the checkout procedure, reduce overhead costs and improve the overall shopping experience.

Walmart says it spends about $12 million every second simply to have cashiers on duty at all of its stores in the United States, money the company hopes to save by encouraging customers to scan and pay for items on their own.

How does the app work? Customers can scan items with their phones and place them in bags as they walk through the store, then complete their shopping experience by pressing a button on their smartphone that will transfer the necessary information to a self-checkout line. At this time, though, the app will not enable customers to make payments directly from their phones.

Currently, the Walmart iPhone app has only been tested in one store, and there is no word yet as to when the public can expect to see or utilize it, or how it might affect Walmart employees.

[Reuters]

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