Walmart wants you to be your own cashier, and it's using smartphones to make it happen: the company has tripled the size of its Scan & Go pilot program, which allows shoppers to check out without interacting with a store employee. Using Walmart's mobile app, customers can photograph product barcodes — effectively scanning in their own purchase — and then pay for their order at a self-checkout station. The option is currently only available on iOS devices, but a company representative told The Verge that it should make its way to Android soon.
You could be seeing fewer cashiers soon
The Shop & Go program is similar to the self-checkout system that Apple implemented across all of its stores in November of 2011, but Apple's implementation allows customers to pay directly through their phone. Walmart's program is currently only available in 215 of the company's 4,000 US locations — but Scan & Go is just one piece of Walmart's move to replace the traditional cashier and register.
The company is going to be nearly doubling the number of stores with self-checkout stations this year, putting them into nearly three-quarters of all Walmart locations. The company's goal is to cut down on your checkout time, not just to prevent you from getting stuck waiting in line: last August, Walmart announced that it would save $12 million per year for every second that it could cut off of the average checkout time.