No one likes checkout queues, so Barclaycard wants to replace them using your phone. The idea is simple, and not all that new, in that you scan all of your purchases as you shop, using your phone camera, and then press pay at the end when you're done. It's not that different to existing laser scanner system in many supermarkets.
Barclaycard will likely offer an app of its own, but it's also likely that any supermarkets that decide to use the tech will build it into their own apps. This will allow them to apply various reward offers and allow customers to use their loyalty cards. Oh, and of course, track everything you buy to build up a detailed picture of what you're spending money on.
There are some good advantages to this as a way to shop too. You could, for example, build a list of things you want before you go to the shop and then the app would help you find where those items are in-store. Perhaps this could even be paired with the sort of beacon system we wrote about last week, which would give you precise information about where items are in relation to your current position. The shopping list could even order itself to be the most efficient use of your time and warn you ahead of time if something is out of stock. And of course, allow the supermarket to build up detailed maps about how customers shop.
A system like this has already been implemented by Amazon in its employee store in Seattle. It's a bit more advanced though, in that you don't need to scan items individually and the shelves are able to detect when you've removed an item or replaced it. The Barclaycard system doesn't require a whole new shop be designed though - which is a distinct advantage from both cost and convenience perspectives.
Barclaycard employees have been using the system at the company's Canary Wharf headquarters. An extended roll out is expected in other Barclaycard offices in both the UK and the US ahead of a potential public launch.
[via: The Telegraph]