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Hybrid m-commerce service combines high street shopping with online convenience

05 June 2017 - 09:04 by David Aiken

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A new app known as Grab+Go is being developed for smartphones by Barclaycard as an alternative to traditional checkout procedures in bricks and mortar stores.

The idea is that rather than requiring shoppers to queue up to pay for the items they have selected when they visit a real world outlet, they can instead use their handset of choice to scan products which are then paid for automatically online. This means they can simply walk straight out of the store without visiting a cashier.

It is worth pointing out that Barclaycard is not the first firm to have come up with this concept; Amazon has been experimenting with a grocery-oriented Go scheme which has much the same idea behind it. However, in the case of Amazon Go the use of the app only applies within specific shops operated by the retailer, whereas the Barclaycard project would presumably be applicable throughout all outlets.

In the industry this is referred to as an ‘invisible payment’ since it removes all barriers from the buying process, meaning people do not need to enter personal info or even PIN codes to make a purchase. A growing number of sites which offer safe shopping online have already embraced this approach.

So far the high street has remained largely untouched by invisible payments, but that could all change in a relatively short time span if the trials are a success and a wider rollout is pursued.

Barclaycard spokesperson, Usman Sheikh, explained that consumer habits were changing, fuelled by safe shopping online and mobile technologies. Because of this he said that there is an ongoing need for payment firms to revise the services they offer and ensure that they are keeping up with current trends, according to Internet Retailing.