Eight-track tapes, dial-up modems, and ... checkout lines? Walmart is working on turning the latter into another remnant of the past with a mobile phone-based scan-and-pay system, reports the Wall Street Journal. Called "Scan and Go," the new system would allow shoppers to scan their own purchases with their mobile phones, then pay at self-service kiosks. The system is being tried by employees with iPhones at one store in Arkansas, and there's no word yet when it might be ready for prime time.
Walmart has been working for some time to reduce cashier costs. Already 1,600 of Walmart's 4,500 US stores have self-checkout lines. If this new wrinkle works at the chain, "it has the potential to change the way people shop and pay, making the process more personal and potentially faster," notes Reuters. Walmart is hoping Scan and Go might allow real-time options for analyzing customer data and pushing other deals and options. "This is a fairly new technology for retailers and there's potential for all kinds of fraud and theft," says one technology analyst. (Read more Walmart stories.)