Wal-Mart tests iPhone checkout system
The retailer is exploring more ways to cut down on cashier wages.
Wal-Mart (WMT), already a big fan of self-checkout lanes, is testing technology that lets customers scan items with their iPhones and pay for them without talking to a cashier.
While some customers would applaud the move -- shoppers generally like self-service machines -- the move is designed to help Wal-Mart cut costs. The retailer spends $12 million in cashier wages for every second of transaction time at its U.S. stores, according to its chief financial officer.
Wal-Mart is testing the iPhone "Scan & Go" system at one of its locations near company headquarters in Arkansas, Reuters reports. The company is so enamored with self-checkout that it plans to add more of those lanes at Wal-Mart and Sam's Club stores.
Here's how the new system would work, according to Reuters: Customers scan items on their phone as soon as they put them into a shopping cart. In fact, they bag the goods while they're shopping. When they're done, they go to a self-checkout counter to pay. An iPhone app will send the shopping list to a regular self-checkout machine, and customers pay at the machine.
It sounds like we're a long way from this test becoming a reality at Wal-Mart. The retailer was so cautious about moving forward that it only opened the experiment to employee friends and family, Reuters reports.
But the move would go hand-in-hand with mobile payment systems that companies are so eager to embrace. Mobile payment is the future, and Wal-Mart's "Scan & Go" app would easily lend itself to that technology.
Self-checkout is quickly expanding in the U.S. as retailers try to cut employee costs. Self-service transactions are growing by more than 7% annually in North America, according to a new study by IHL Group.
And shoppers seem to be OK with that. A survey by NCR Group -- which makes self-checkout machines -- found that a majority of shoppers think self-checkout is faster than waiting in line for a human cashier.
More from Top Stocks
- Breakfast soda? Taco Bell says yes
- 8 thinks I'd do if I were a hedge fund
- Yelp stock soars after lockup expires
MORE ON MSN MONEY
VIDEO ON MSN MONEY
Hello, There is a very serious problem of fear of reporting unfair labor practice in Walmart. I worked there for almost 10-years with an excellent work history, up until we got a new store manager who was extremely verbally abusive to employees including a mentally handicapped female who he would bash until she was hysterically crying. You could hear her wailing across the store, and when I suggested to employees that we report it they said they were afraid they would be fired. I said we have rights and laws in this country and we do not need to be afraid to report abuse, especially of the handicapped. They said I was naive, and that everyone knows Walmart controls the government and everything with its money and lawyers and prides themselves on being able to get away with doing anything they want, I had more faith and trust in our system than that. I told myself from the begining, do the right thing, tell the truth, follow the rules, and trust God, and i began reporting the abuse to upper management. Before you know it the abusive manager started letting me know he was angry with my reporting him and fired me. That was just the begining of the mess. I went to the NLRB and they filed A charge on walmart for firing me for engaging in protected activity.
Walmart then forced me to drop the charge before they would reinstate my job, and then harshly retaliated on me in many ways including false write ups and 2 more wrongful terminations shortly after i returned. When I went back to the NLRB as they had told me to do should this occur Walmart gave perjurious testimony to the NLRB and told numerous extremely slanderous and defamatory lies in order to have the case dismissed. I have struggled very hard through 2 dismissals before obtaining my NLRB files through FOIA and managing to prove so many lies that walmart had told the NLRB, that i believe that is why The Deputy General Counsel finnally told me to re-file my case. It is now back open, but not going well.
Walmart has gone to great lengths, by doing things like what they did to me, in order to instill an atmosphere of fear of reporting in the employees. Everything is not fine at all in Walmart, in fact nobody has any idea how bad it really is because walmart has carefully ensured that the employees are so afraid to report wrongdoing that they won't even say anything when they hear a mentally handicapped female hysterically wailing across the store and hiding in the break room from the ongoing extreme verbal abuse of the store manager, and when the one guy naive enough to say something speaks up, he is promptly fired and subjected to many forms of retaliation up to and including false terminations and having his name defamed and slandered to the NLRB. I could go on and write a book about everything that I alone have been through, not to mention what others have been through with this evil tactic used by walmart to keep their employees quiet about the truth of what really goes on in those stores on a daily basis, but it seems nobody would probably even care. Meanwhile I have lost my job, my career of nearly 10-years, and probably any chance at ever retiring in my lifetime all because I reported employee abuse including of a mentally handicapped female by a store manager in our walmart store. Robert Snodgrass, 715 Taylor rd., Downingtown, Pa 19335, 484-252-9596 Thank You. God Bless you, and God Bless America
WALMART ALREADY MAKES MORE MONEY, THEY HAVE ALREADY CUT THE GREETERS. THEY HAVE OVER 30 CHECKOUT REGISTERS AND BARELY HAVE ENOUGH CHECKERS AT THEM NOW. KEEP JOBS, GET RID OF THE EASY WAY TO DO THINGS!!!!!
Walmart doesnt pay emplyees enough to buy insurance let alone pay rent
I do not have an iPhone nor plan to buy one in the near future. Too expensive at the moment. While I understand the preference for self-checkout, it is not peaches and roses. The lines can be long due to people doing it themselves, sometimes there are tech problems and a worker has to come and fix the issue, workers still bag items that are not bagged, and occasionally it will be under repair (though this could happen anywhere). In addition, not everyone has an iPhone. A grocery chain, Stop & Shop, optionally provides a small electronic device for shoppers to scan and bag their items before checkout. All that is needed is a Stop & Shop rewards card and returning the device when done. No need for an expensive phone!!
Copyright © 2013 Microsoft. All rights reserved.
Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.