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BizReport : Trends & Ideas : August 03, 2016


Research reveals risk to retailers of mobile scan and pay methods

Could self-scan and payment technology increase the risk of theft from stores? Yes, according to new research from criminologists at Britain's University of Leicester.

by Helen Leggatt

As retail technology marches onward, it will become even more common for people to scan purchases and pay for them with their own mobile phones without ever having to come into contact with a member of store staff.

The common current method, of using a machine to offload, scan, and bag purchases is popular although most of these self-service areas are still manned by a member of the store staff to help out with out any difficulties. As co-author Professor Adrian Beck points out, self-scanning can be both a joy, or a nightmare to use "with the phrase 'unexpected item in the bagging area' striking dread into many a shopper".

Progressing to mobile scan and pay would provide retailers with more benefits in terms of a decrease in staffing requirements and checkout technologies, and for shoppers it means no queues as mobile product scanning and payment could take place anywhere in the store.

However, the report 'Developments in Retail Mobile Scanning Technologies: Understanding the Potential Impact on Shrinkage and Loss Prevention' also suggests that mobile scan and pay could prove risky to retailers. Available data suggests that theft through shoplifting could rise resulting in a rate of losses 122% higher than average.

"Retailers are becoming aware of these problems and introducing ways of 'amplifying' risk in the mobile scan and pay environment, trying to ensure that all that ends up in the basket also makes it onto the receipt, says report co-author Dr Matt Hopkins. "Retailers are becoming aware of these problems and introducing ways of 'amplifying' risk in the mobile scan and pay environment, trying to ensure that all that ends up in the basket also makes it onto the receipt.

"All innovations in retailing are a business choice - hopefully done to make the shopper happier and the business more profitable. But those same choices can also produce negative outcomes as well, such as increased opportunities for losses to occur."



Tags: mobile, payment trends, retail








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