Albert Heijn lets customers scan and pay for shopping by smartphone app

albert heijn self scannerThe Albert Heijn supermarket group is to extend an experiment in which customers use their mobile phones to scan and pay for their shopping to 200 stores.

Trials of an app which turns a phone into a scanner have proved so successful that the system will now be extended to 25% of the group’s stores, the biggest Dutch supermarket chain said on Thursday.

The app is based on the camera in a smartphone. Shoppers can scan in their discount card and then switch between shopping list and scanner to price their groceries and add up their bill.

However, retail experts doubt self-scanning will lead to mass redundancies among cashiers.

‘You will always need people to help customers with scanning or do spot checks to make sure they are not taking more than they paid for,’ Manfred Krafft, of Munster University, told website ‘But perhaps in 20 years time, just 20% to 30% of the current cashier jobs will still be around.’

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