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Retail self-checkout option added to Apple Store app for iOS

post #1 of 27
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Apple has updated its official Apple Store application for iOS, adding the new "Personal Pickup" option, as well as an "Easy Pay" feature, which allows customers to pay for an item on their own, direct from an iPhone, while in a retail store.

The Apple Store application was updated on Tuesday to version 2.0 (iTunes link). The free application is a 4.0MB download that requires iOS 4.2 or later, and is compatible with the iPhone, iPod touch and iPad.

The most significant new features in the update are EasyPay and Personal Pickup. With EasyPay, an iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S user can scan the barcode of an accessory while in a store, and complete the transaction using the same credit card information tied to their Apple ID.

Word of the self-checkout option first surfaced last week, and accurately revealed that the option would only apply to accessories and items found on the shelf. Users cannot complete a self-checkout with more expensive items that are kept in Apple's retail stockrooms, including the iPhone, iPad, iPods or Macs.

The updated Apple Store application also features a built-in Personal Pickup feature. With the software, users can buy an item on their iOS device, and then pick it up in a store in less than an hour if it is in stock.



Apple began offering an in-store pickup option on its website last month with a trial that began in San Francisco, Calif., and quickly spread to New York City stores. The in-store pickup option is currently available in the U.S. only.

The full list of new features included in version 2.0 of the Apple Store iOS application are included below:
Personal Pickup: Buy in the app and choose to pick up your order at any Apple Retail Store. Most in-stock orders are available for pickup within an hour. (U.S. only)
EasyPay: Purchase select accessories in store quickly by scanning the barcode and completing your transaction right in the app. (U.S. only, requires iPhone 4 or iPhone 4S)
Track your stuff: View the status of current and previous orders from the order status section in the More tab.
Additional international support (Canada, China).
post #2 of 27
I still don't see how they can do the EasyPay system without having significant theft. How in the world do you check to make sure each person's paid for what they've taken besides having an employee do so, which defeats the whole purpose?
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post #3 of 27
The nerd in me loves this but who's going to bag the purchase or where am I going to find the Apple shopping bag?
post #4 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I still don't see how they can do the EasyPay system without having significant theft. How in the world do you check to make sure each person's paid for what they've taken besides having an employee do so, which defeats the whole purpose?

I don't know - maybe electronic article surveillance or other loss prevention methodologies. Cant imagine that Apple neglected to consider those implications.
post #5 of 27
Cool. I need a new pair of in-ear headphones... think I'll see how this EasyPay system works.

Honestly I'm not sure how they prevent theft now. They have people at the door, but they never check receipts (they email them after all) and they don't use RFIDs. I guess they just rely on the crowded atmosphere to deter theives and large staff to keep an eye on things.
post #6 of 27
Shaweeeeet!
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post #7 of 27
As with most things Apple now adays this only benefits Americans.

Maybe a VISA card magically works differently outside of the US for some reason, or perhaps the Apple products in the Apple Stores outside of the US don't support Apple's own software payment system.......

This is just like Siri. Yelp is in the UK and Google Maps works fine here too yet Apple does not bother to add the support.
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post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

I don't know - maybe electronic article surveillance or other loss prevention methodologies. Cant imagine that Apple neglected to consider those implications.

There must be some sort of verification step where you have to show an employee the PAID screen with some listing of products with name - barcode - price - qty - etc.
post #9 of 27
Awesome, I may have to give this a shot later today.

I love the Apple Stores we have locally, but both of them are prone to leaving you standing around like a douche if you are buying accessories. The very worst part of my local store experience is knowing exactly what I want to buy and checking out quickly.
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post #10 of 27
Assuming Apple can make it work - which they will - it makes you wonder, why didn't others, including big behemoths in retailing, think of it?

Wait, I think I answered my own question.....
post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I still don't see how they can do the EasyPay system without having significant theft. How in the world do you check to make sure each person's paid for what they've taken besides having an employee do so, which defeats the whole purpose?

Perhaps they're taking a pragmatic view: the cost of chasing a thief through the courts probably exceeds the loss made on the goods that a thief could walk out with, bearing in mind that same thief wouldn't be able to carry all that much and staff would be on the lookout for people stuffing their pockets with lots of iPod socks and earphones... In particular, if the self-service system lacks the ability to get an Apple carrier bag, they'd only have to watch out for people with rucksacks or bags from other shops being filled and they can pull them to one side to check up on them.

Frankly, whether or not Apple offer a convenient pay facility, the ability to walk off with unpaid-for goods remains the same since Apple retail stores are wide open and, as has been said, RFID free (for the present, at least).

This system just helps the honest customers, which is what it should do. I can't wait for it to come to the UK as my local store (Cambridge) is usually filled to bursting point at any sensible hours of the day! (If you're reading this, Tim, please get a bigger store in Cambridge - it can get quite uncomfortably hot in there!)
post #12 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by markbyrn View Post

The nerd in me loves this but who's going to bag the purchase or where am I going to find the Apple shopping bag?

You don't get a bag.

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post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

As with most things Apple now adays this only benefits Americans.

Maybe a VISA card magically works differently outside of the US for some reason, or perhaps the Apple products in the Apple Stores outside of the US don't support Apple's own software payment system.......

This is just like Siri. Yelp is in the UK and Google Maps works fine here too yet Apple does not bother to add the support.

So you are mad that Apple uses the US as he guinea pigs and not the UK.

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post #14 of 27
I updated my app but don't find the EasyPay option on it, except to check receipts. Does it activate when you are in the store? I am going tomorrow to buy an AirPort Extreme Base Station to install for my brother. Will check the app when I get there to see what happens.
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post #15 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilgto64 View Post

There must be some sort of verification step where you have to show an employee the PAID screen with some listing of products with name - barcode - price - qty - etc.

Nope. They have uniform and undercover LP agents in all stores watching for suspect folks. Their system tells them when someone is self playing. Only in th instance that they see someone acting suspect do they verify payment, same as before when folks would have the receipt emailed and refuse a bag

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post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Robin Huber View Post

I updated my app but don't find the EasyPay option on it, except to check receipts. Does it activate when you are in the store? I am going tomorrow to buy an AirPort Extreme Base Station to install for my brother. Will check the app when I get there to see what happens.

I'm thinking yes.

But as I recall an airport is a serialized product so you can't self pay even though it is an accessory

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post #17 of 27
As someone who lives close to a state boundary where there is a noticeable difference in the sales tax rates, I wonder how these taxes might be handled? I suspect that sales tax will be calculated based on the billing address of the credit card, rather than the local sales tax rate. Of course, Apple could use location services to determine the rate as well. I could imagine this might be a touchy point from a state revenue perspective.
post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by saarek View Post

As with most things Apple now adays this only benefits Americans.

No kidding, Apple is an American company.

If we were all using Sinclairs or BBC computers in 2011, then features like this would be available first in the UK. It's common sense. I do feel sorry for all UK people, because they get the male SIRI and not the female one.
post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by dwm55 View Post

As someone who lives close to a state boundary where there is a noticeable difference in the sales tax rates, I wonder how these taxes might be handled? I suspect that sales tax will be calculated based on the billing address of the credit card, rather than the local sales tax rate. Of course, Apple could use location services to determine the rate as well. I could imagine this might be a touchy point from a state revenue perspective.

Think about it...

The sales tax is charged in the city/county/state where the transaction takes place.

It makes no difference if you live in a different state, or country for that matter.

The seller collects the sales tax, records it, reports it, and pays it to the appropriate taxing entities.
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post #20 of 27
I wonder if Apple has devised a system to prevent or acceptably minimize theft.

If so, Apple may have developed a system/service that is useable for other than Apple Retail Stores.
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post #21 of 27
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Originally Posted by charlituna View Post

You don't get a bag.

Yes you do.
post #22 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smiles77 View Post

I still don't see how they can do the EasyPay system without having significant theft. How in the world do you check to make sure each person's paid for what they've taken besides having an employee do so, which defeats the whole purpose?

Maybe it's like the person who checks your receipt at Costco. Easy to do a quick verify on the way out of the store if needed, way faster than a checkout.
post #23 of 27
I can't help but feel like this EasyPay system is a countrywide trial experiment to test out Apple's answer to a mobile payments system. Why bother with NFC? You have a phone with a camera to scan the barcode, an iTunes account that's connected to your credit card, and an Internet connection. Just work out some back-end terms and boom, Apple replaces Visa and MasterCard.
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post #24 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by gordy View Post

Yes you do.

If you want to wait for an employee to get you one. But they don't jut have a stak of hem sitting around for folks

And if you are going to wit for someone to get you a bag hy self at all

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post #25 of 27
I've never liked self checkouts. As cool as the tech for this is, I can't get past the fact that I'm paying YOU the same price as before, but now you're making ME do the work. It's just bad customer service, IMO.
post #26 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by bsenka View Post

I've never liked self checkouts. As cool as the tech for this is, I can't get past the fact that I'm paying YOU the same price as before, but now you're making ME do the work. It's just bad customer service, IMO.

You could look at it as:

You are helping the store keep their prices low by helping them reduce overhead!

...Or Apple could make it worth your while to self checkout -- say, iTunes credits or somesuch?
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post #27 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by yuusharo View Post

I can't help but feel like this EasyPay system is a countrywide trial experiment to test out Apple's answer to a mobile payments system. Why bother with NFC? You have a phone with a camera to scan the barcode, an iTunes account that's connected to your credit card, and an Internet connection. Just work out some back-end terms and boom, Apple replaces Visa and MasterCard.

I think you're on to something!
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