Walmart’s iPhone System Test Using RFID Scanning Technology

Walmart-iPhone-test-scanning-rfid-blogWalmart is testing an iPhone system, allowing users to scan items with their iPhones and then pay at a self-checkout counter, which reduce checkout times and cut down costs for retailers.

If the “Scan & Go” test by the world’s largest retailer is successful, it has the potential to change the way people shop and pay, making the process more personal and potentially faster.

In the Walmart iPhone scanning test, shoppers can scan products with their phone and put them in bags while they shop, and then pay at a self-checkout counter.

However, users cannot pay on their phone. The app transfers the scanned items to the self-checkout kiosk and then shoppers complete the transaction using the normal self-checkout process.

Functions like letting shoppers create lists and seeing which items are in stock are already included in Walmart’s iPhone app.

According to a form on the Survey Monkey website, earlier this week, employees with iPhones are invited to participate in a test at a Walmart supercenter in Rogers, Arkansas, near the company’s headquarters.

“All of the effort is to speed your way through the checkout so that we can reduce costs and improve the shopping experience,” said Paul Weitzel, managing partner at retail consulting firm Willard Bishop, who said he had not seen Walmart’s test. “With smartphones and improved technology we’re only going to see more of this.”

On March 7th, chief financial officer Charles Holley said, pushing more shoppers to scan their own items and make payments without the help of a cashier could save Walmart millions of dollars. Every second, the company spends about $12 million in cashier wages at its Walmart US stores.

Last month, it was revealed that Walmart had joined a number of retailers in forming a company, Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX), which would launch a mobile payment application.

Although Walmart’s test is currently limited to one store, the company may seek out participants beyond its staff for the study. Walmart offered participants in one-hour sessions $100 for their time and a $25 gift card to use in the store for purchases, according to the form on the Survey Monkey website.