We’ve gone from express checkout lanes to self-checkout lanes to just checking yourself out, thanks to the latest mobile technology now being pushed forward by Barclaycard. The U.K.-based credit card company is rolling out new software that would allow customers to buy items simply by scanning them with a smartphone’s camera. So bid adieu to boring queues — Barclaycard wants to save you money in the form of time.
Other companies have piloted versions of a similar concept, with retail giants like Walmart and Amazon both attempting analogous practices on a smaller scale (though Amazon requires more hardware, as shelves must be outfitted with sensors that are triggered when an item is removed). But now, the practice is crossing the pond, as Barclays is currently conducting a trial at its own company headquarters, and has plans to pilot the tech at a “high-street retailer” next year, according to the Telegraph.
If proven effective, the new process could significantly cut down on customers’ wait times at supermarkets and other stores. In effect, shoppers would only need to scan individual items in their shopping carts and have the bill deducted directly from their Barclays account, all without ever having to interact with a human or wait in a line.
“People want less and less friction when they’re shopping,” Usman Sheikh, Barclaycard’s director of design and experimentation, told the Telegraph. “The time involved is literally a fraction of what it would take to go to the till.”
Implementing the technology could take a number of different forms — Barclaycard could either run the technology through its own app, or partner with retailers and insert the technology into their native apps. To ensure that folks aren’t taking advantage of the system, Barclaycard says, stores could oversee transactions on a screen and keep tabs on virtual receipts.
Barclaycard says that it hopes to begin retail trials either late this year or early in 2018.
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