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Doing Away With Do-It-Yourself Checkouts

At Synergy Merchant Services, our clients are all accepters of Visa, MasterCard and Interac payments. As a result, they have the advantage of being able to sell their future credit and debit receivables to get themselves cash advances that help them invest back into their businesses.

When a cashier accepts credit and debit cards, it allows for the merchant to open his or her store up to more opportunities to make sales. One way that some merchants have continued to give themselves chances to process more sales is by having automated, self-serve check outs.

The Metro grocery store – formerly Dominion – is just one example of a store that allows for these types of do-it-yourself transactions. At these checkouts, customers may use Visa, MasterCard, Interac and even cash to pay for products without the assistance of a cashier. Seems pretty innovative, right?

Well, according to The Toronto Star business reporter, Francine Kopun, in an article published earlier this week, the innovative self-serve checkouts may soon become things of the past. Kopun writes that recent surveys have determined that the cashier-less checkouts may be presenting more problems than they are solutions.

She reveals that “an internal study by Big Y found delays in its self-service lines caused by problems such as customer confusion over coupons, payments, and intentional and accidental theft, including misidentifying produce and baked goods as less-expensive varieties.”

As far as Canadians go, they seem to be split when it comes to their opinions of self-serve checkouts. An online poll conducted by The Star found that just 42 per cent of respondents loved the automated checkouts, while 39 per cent hated them. 18 per cent of those surveyed claimed to be indifferent.

Either way, it seems as if a number of stores will be phasing out their automated checkouts, including Wal-Mart. The huge retail chain recently removed the self-serve checkouts at a Scarborough, Ontario location although they have not announced plans to do the same throughout the rest of their locations in Canada.

Felicia Feffer, a spokeswoman for Wal-Mart Canada remarked that “they definitely make sense in certain stores. But we look at it on a store-to-store basis.” IKEA‘s President and CEO, Anthony Longo added that the rising trend of using bar code-reading smartphones is likely to change things for supermarket shopping over time.

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