We will find out as Amazon is now opening its first such store in Seattle with its “Just Walk Out” technology. It is a full-scale grocery store of 25,000 square feet. Cameras detect when an item leaves the shelf and goes into your grocery cart. Sensors detect all the items in your cart and add up your bill. Your credit or debit card is automatically charged.
Consumers need to link their credit or debit card to Amazon’s store, Fresh, ahead of shopping. When they enter the store, they scan a QR code on their phone to indicate they will use “Just Walk Out” payments. Or people can link their payment information directly to their identity via a palm scan. At Fresh, you can merely place your palm above Amazon’s identity scanner, enter the store, shop, and walk out with your goods. Of course, your payment shows up on your monthly credit card bill or monthly bank statement.
So the following questions developing in my mind are, “Are we ready to link our body’s identification to the cloud? Does the convenience outweigh our privacy concerns?” Our phones already track where we are and when and how much we spend our money. Technology is continually changing and moving more and more toward digital. Our money systems are experimenting with digital money. Consider the growth of cryptocurrencies.
But I digress. Let’s return to card processing trends as they relate to the business owner. We have recently moved from card stripes to card chips. Businesses can manage and run their entire business, including payment collection from a Tablet for practically the same price as a cash register plus a credit card terminal. Payment devices can add custom fees to the consumer’s total, thus transferring card processing costs to the customer. 13% of businesses have already adopted this custom fee with Zero Cost Processing during these inflationary times.
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