Retail stores of the future will provide self-checkouts, traditional attended checkouts and mobile self-scanning terminals with actual proportions tailored to store patterns, but pay-points remain a hot spot for innovation.

Self-checkouts already complement traditional pay-points in some deployments, instead of operating as an integrated unit and industry trends suggest that pay-points (and POS systems) will evolve separately to self-scanning units. Self-scanning reduces line times and checkout processing costs, but analysis of a store’s cashless payments ratio, number of items and transactions processed and customer profile must occur ahead of a deployment.

Existing pay-points at hypermarkets, supermarkets, shopping centers, cash-and-carry, DIY stores, and other large-scale retailers, are seen as the ideal location for the addition of self-checkout units. When planning a self-checkout implementation, retailers should work with innovative and experienced IT vendors whose solutions can be tailored to a store’s specific needs. In-store tests can help establish the best ratio of attended and automated systems for the store, and the range of payment options to be provided. With IHL Consulting finding that retailers expect a return from self-scanning systems in 12 to 15 months, the technology investment quickly pays for itself.

As self-checkout systems occupy less space on store floors similarly, their benefits can be leveraged by smaller retailers such as convenience, specialty and drug stores and even by department stores. New payment methods such as contactless (RFID-based) payments and biometrics-based payments are optional in newer self-checkout deployments, which may also read and deactivate RFID tags attached to stock for tracking purposes. Consumer acceptance of self-checkouts now means that retailers and technology vendors can focus on improving solutions to include customer-friendly user interfaces, faster payment processing and advanced functions, as required.