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Texas Big Box Store Testing Mobile Checkout Program

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – A Wal-Mart store in Plano is one of the first in the country that will allow customers to scan items with their iPhone or iPad so that a prepared receipt is ready when they reach checkout.

After debuting late last year the new “Scan & Go” program is being tested in markets across the country, including North Texas, Houston and Austin.

Shopper Kim Roussy says she always plans her trips to Wal-Mart early in the morning, to avoid the crowd and long lines. “Sometimes just after eight o’clock I get here.”

Wal-Mart officials say they hope to make the shopping experience easier for people like Roussy. On Thursday Bobby Nicholson, who manages the Wal-Mart store on Ohio Drive in Plano, gave details on the new Scan & Go program.

Customers start at a kiosk when they walk in the store. “I can grab the sack I may need for my shopping experience,” Nicholson explained. Next step – open the Wal-Mart app on your phone. The app will recognize that you’re in a Wal-Mart store and then begin giving prompts.

Customers then scan the bar codes of merchandise wanted for purchase. If you change your mind and don’t want something just press, “edit” and delete the item.

The Scan & Go system adds up the items as you shop and keeps a running total, so you know how much you’re going to spend. The customer then pays the final bill at the register.

While managers say shoppers can use the Scan & Go at full-service checkout counters, it will take longer there. However, the Scan & Go program is fully downloaded at the self-checkout registers, so moving through those lanes will be faster.

Customers will still have to have produce weighed and calculated at the register and identification will still have to be checked by a worker when purchasing alcohol. Customers using the app can pay as normal, with cash, credit or debit cards.

“I think it’s very interesting,” Roussy said. “I think I’ll probably use it, probably save me time, especially when I’m in a rush.”

To make sure customers are being honest and to guard against shoplifting, Wal-Mart workers will randomly audit customer purchases.

When a CBS 11 News crew tested out the system some item scans were a bit slow – taking as long as 20 seconds to process.

Currently the Scan & Go app is only available for Apple devices.

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