Payment provider Barclaycard is trialling new technology that transforms shoppers’ mobile phones into ‘pocket checkouts’ that can be used to scan and pay for goods.
Known as Grab+Go, the new payment concept makes it quicker for consumers to buy low-value goods by allowing them to scan and pay for their shopping using their smartphone, without the need to visit a physical checkout.
Barclaycard said that it developed the concept in an effort to make purchasing and paying quicker and easier for both consumers and merchants.
Users need to download the Grab+Go app, create an account and pre-load their payment details. They can then use their smartphone camera to scan the barcode on items as they go. When finished, they click ‘I’m done’ and can then walk out of the store — payment is taken seamlessly in the background and the receipt is stored in the app.
It’s an example of “invisible payments”, whereby the payment process is removed from the purchase journey. Already commonplace within many mobile apps, but not on the high street, it removes the need to enter card details, a PIN, or even swipe or tap for every transaction.
The concept is currently being trialled by Barclays and Barclaycard employees in the staff restaurant in London, with further employee trials planned in the UK and the United States ahead of a planned public launch.
Usman Sheikh, director of design and experimentation at Barclaycard, said:
“One of the key customer frustrations with shopping is the time spent queuing to pay for items they want to buy — especially when they are in a hurry. Using the latest technology, we’ve developed Grab+Go to streamline the shopping experience by removing the need to physically check out every time you want to buy something.
“The way in which people shop and pay has evolved significantly over the past decade, and as the use of mobile and wearable payments grows, we are constantly looking at how we can use technology to make our customers’ lives easier.
“An important part of this trial will be getting feedback from colleagues, as well as the operators in the staff restaurants, to further develop the product and proposal. Once the final version is complete, it will be available to our clients to help revolutionise payments in their own businesses.”