7-Eleven has launched a new scan-and-go system that will be initially tested in 14 stores in Dallas. By 2019, 7-Eleven plans to expand the system to other cities to increase convenience for shoppers. New systems like this are bound to shake up the merchant services industry, not only for merchants but for their customers as well. With a focus on streamlining customer interaction and thus customer satisfaction, we should all be excited about new tech in the merchant services industry.
The Scan & Pay feature is available through the 7-Eleven app. Customers scan merchandise as they shop using a smartphone. Many items like hot coffee can be scanned with a barcode on the cup but there will be some products like hot foods and those requiring age verification that must be purchased with a credit card machine and an employee.
The app will be connected with the 7Rewards loyalty program allowing customers to see and redeem discounts and deals in-store. While inside a store equipped with Scan & Pay, shoppers will see a “Start Scanning” option available in the app. Shoppers can use their smartphone camera to scan items. When ready to check out, customers can pay for their purchases with a debit or credit card, Apple Pay, or Google Pay. After paying, the app provides a QR code the customer can scan at a Scan & Pay station before leaving.
The goal of the Scan & Pay feature is allowing customers to get in and out of the store as fast as possible, especially when the store is busy in the morning and late afternoon. The prototype for the system was built in just over a month. The chain then spent months testing it at the employee store in Dallas.
7-Eleven isn’t the first major chain to announce a scan-and-go option for shoppers. Other brands like Sam’s Club and Kroger’s have also shaken up the payment processing industry. Sam’s Club now has a store called Sam’s Club Now in Dallas with no cashiers. Sam’s Club didn’t stop at the mobile checkout, though; the store will also test electronic shelf labels, in-store navigation technology, a camera inventory management system, and augmented reality shopping. Walmart will also install store employees in aisles with credit card processing machines so customers can check out without the line.
Amazon announced plans to open up to 3,000 Amazon Go stores without checkouts within the next three years. This would include around 10 stores by the end of 2018 before expanding into 50 key metropolitan areas by 2019. The first Amazon Go store has been around for two years but opened to the public in January. There are now three Amazon Go locations in Seattle, two in Chicago, and one in San Francisco. Amazon uses a more complicated payment system than 7-Eleven. The Amazon Go stores use a sensor and camera system that can detect when an item is taken off the shelf.