Walmart Testing Mobile Checkout

Sept. 4, 2012

Walmart is testing a mobile app that would enable customers to scan items as they shop in-store and pay at a self-checkout aisle, according to a report from Reuters on Friday. A form found on the Survey Monkey Website indicates the mega retailer asked employees at one of its locations to test and report on a version of the increasingly popular “line-buster” app. While the Walmart test enabled customers only to scan the items on their phones as they shopped—but not pay for them using the device—apps that let consumers shop, pay and leave without waiting in line give merchants far smaller than the Bentonville, Ark.-based retailing giant a chance to compete against the “big boys,” according to Alex Keisner, head of strategy and business development for San Francisco-based mobile commerce and payments provider GoPago.

“One of the trends we’re seeing is around modernization and that recognition of the need to compete not only with the stores around them, but with everyone that’s online,” Keisner said during the CNP Expo in May. “Companies like Amazon and eBay have taken over, achieved economies of scale. And, the fact they can gather data about their customers really makes them powerful and makes it hard for brick-and-mortar retailers to compete. We try to provide these businesses the same benefits an Amazon or eBay already has because they are already online and see this information already.”