Walmart expands iPhone checkout system

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Fast Company: Walmart's system that lets shoppers scan an item's barcode with their iPhone and then pay at self-checkout is expanding to more than 200 U.S. stores.

Currently just 70 stores offer the service, which began in late 2012. Concurrent with the expansion plans, Walmart will release an edition of the system that works with Android smartphones too, and the number of self-checkout lanes installed in supermarkets will double to up to 3,000 this year.

Some supermarkets already offer a self-shopping and self-checkout service that uses proprietary handheld computers with a built-in barcode reader. But with the explosion of smartphones, many consumers are already carrying more powerful mobile computing devices in their pockets. An app-based checkout system like this allows for more persistent branding by Walmart (because the app is always there on your home screen) and may offer greater opportunities in the future for gathering customer data and delivering incentives like coupons.

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