Tesco Introduced Self-Checkout Machines In One Of Its Stores & We Can't Wait To Try It Out
The stories of self-service cashier counters you hear from friends who live abroad - it's finally happening in Malaysia!
Have you ever been stuck in a queue for a long time due to the lack of open cashier counters? That may just be a thing of the past because Tesco has recently rolled out self-checkout machines in their iOi City Mall outlet in Putrajaya for a trial run!
Tesco isn't exactly the first retailer to introduce the self-checkout system. Sam's Groceria has had its own self-scan system since 2013, but it is only available for those who have the Sam's Groceria Family Card.
Self-checkout machines allow customers to assume the role of the cashier by scanning, bagging, and paying for their items on their own. Don't worry if you don't have a credit or debit card, you can still pay with cash via the bank note scanner and coin slots.
As an alternative to traditional cashier-staffed checkouts, self-checkout systems require the customer to scan the barcodes themselves; input the types of items e.g. fruits and vegetables, and weigh them, if applicable; and place their scanned items into a 'bagging area'.
Payment methods include cash, credit and debit card, and in-store cash vouchers or gift cards, if applicable.
The self-checkout system has already been implemented abroad for years, such as in the US, UK and Australia.
So, is the self-checkout system going to override the need for an actual human cashier?
Not exactly. Cashier-staffed counters will still be available, but having self-checkout stations gives shoppers the option of fast-tracking their purchases when the lines are too long... especially when you're only grabbing a few items.
For retailers, these machines help to reduce labour costs as one attendant can assist several checkout lanes at one time seeing as customers assume the duties of a cashier.
There are, of course, concerns in regards to shoplifting and dishonest conduct when scanning items. Also, what happens when you don't understand how to use the machine or encounter technical difficulties while using it?
While it does not protect retailers against shoplifting and customers who take advantage of the lack of human monitoring, there are sensors in the machine's "bagging area" which verifies the weight of the items against previously stored information to ensure the the correct items are being bagged.
The customer is only allowed to proceed with payment if the observed and expected weights match.
Also, in practice, there will also be store assistants on duty to monitor as well as to provide assistance where needed.
If any of you are heading to iOi City Mall this weekend, go try it out and let us know what you think! Just don't get into an argument with the machine...