Originally Posted by paxman
Not Really - it is called 'self checkout' and it has been around for many years in one form or another. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self_checkout
In the UK all the major supermarkets have or had self checkout. It is different in that you scan the items yourself with a device. You have to have an account. At first you get checked a few times and if you are found to have non-scanned items you'll be checked more frequently. If you are found to be honest you get checked less frequently. When the system was introduced it was found to decrease theft. (Getting checked is really slow and huge pain)
In Canada it is becoming commonplace to have self checkout counters.
Using ones cellphone to pay in restaurants, for taxis etc has been around for many years as well in some countries. That is not strictly self checkout but it adds a level of convenience - no cash or wallet required.
I'm not sure we're talking about the same thing.
PS: I really need to check this out. I might have switch clothes with a bum to get the full effect of my experiment.
1) Automated checkouts in grocery stores have been around but they aren't something you can do with your phone. They are stationary machines that even go so far as to check the weight of the item you are placing in the bag area. That's one built in safety. There is also a person for x-many of these machines that are there to assist as well as detour theft because if you pick up your items before you pay then the station will alert the store that you need "assistance". That's a 2nd safety.
2) Paying with your phone for taxis or Starbucks, or even with NFC isn't the same thing because you are still giving your item to some to make, bag,or at least get a receipt from. In some way you are locked into engaging with other people.
With this service you can buy the product with your phone, have the email sent to your iTunes account, and never have to speak a single word or look someone in the face to complete the transaction.
This is new! It's more like when you get gas and pay at the pump, expect that you can't steal more than what you've paid for so there is no chance of theft unless you're using someone else's card.