The death of the POS – Why you don’t need to pay on your way out

Cloudbased, checkout-less payments could leapfrog many other new POS technologies

With the release of Apple Pay back in 2014, mobile wallets at the point of sale (POS) have been all the buzz.  Apple, Samsung, and Android have swallowed up the headlines with their POS payment innovations.  However, the next wave of POS payment innovations have dramatic changes in store.  In fact, it could be said that mobile wallets are about to be leapfrogged by a new and better way to pay.  Several checkout-less shopping technologies are starting to show up in the marketplace leveraging “cloud-based payments”.  With checkout-less shopping, consumers can walk into a retail establishment and take whatever products they want off the shelves and walk right out of the store.  No lines, no hassle, and the payment happens automatically and is mostly invisible.  Sounds too real to be true?  It isn’t!  In fact there are several examples in market across many different retailers utilizing several different technologies.

Scan and go…no waiting in line!

Order-ahead at Chipotle, Taco Bell and other quick service restaurants (QSRs) allow customers to have their order prepared for them before they enter the restaurant.  The customer can then quickly go into the restaurant and pick up their meal while the payment happens in the cloud.  Sam’s Club’s “Scan and Go” app allows a customer to shop in store, pay via the cloud, and by-pass the checkout.  If you have ever shopped at Sam’s Club, you can certainly appreciate the time savings that can be had by skipping the lines.  Google Hands Free, which is in trials with over a dozen merchants, allows a consumer to walk into a restaurant, order their food, and simply say “I would like to pay with Google”.  Amazon recently unveiled a checkout-less brick and mortar grocery store that could be a vision of the grocery store of the future.  Amazon’s 1,800 square foot grocery store is completely designed around a checkout-less shopping experience.

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