Barclaycard plans to develop a mobile-based phone app that could put an end to the supermarket queue and allow customers to pay for products simply using the camera on their smartphone. It will do so by automatically charging items to a credit card when shoppers scan items using phone’s camera instead of allowing them to make the payment at the checkout. Customers would get rid of waiting in a long queue at the store. The trial of the service is carried out at company’s Canary Wharf headquarters and it would set out in the market most probably next year.
Usman Sheikh, director of design and experimentation of Barclaycard, who is also leading the project said that it was working with other different “significant household names” including supermarkets about the “Grab and Go” technology. “People want less and less friction when they’re shopping. The time involved is literally a fraction of what it would take to go to the till”, he continued.
This new technology would allow customers to walk into a store, scan each of the purchased items with the phone and check out as they leave the store without waiting in a queue. On the other hand, Waitrose, a chain of British supermarkets works on the “Quick Check” service. This service allows the shoppers to scan the items as they shop but at the end, they still have to go through a till to pay.
Barclaycard would either operate the service through its own app or assimilate the technology within retailers existing apps. Retailers would be provided the facility to monitor transactions on a display and check virtual receipts to counter shoplifters. “Amazon’s technology is not so popular for most of the retailers. For a normal merchant, there’s no way. There is a need to fit every shelf with a sensor so it cannot be a scalable solution,” Mr. Sheikh further added.