No cashiers? Hema is testing payment with employee mobiles

Photo: Hema

Hema is set to become the first retail chain in the Netherlands to test a new app that turns any phone into a payment terminal, allowing purchases to be paid for anywhere in its stores.

App developers ING and European payment provider CCV say they are the first to implement such a payment system with a major retailer, making it easier for consumers to pay.

“At peak times, when many people are queuing at the cash registers, every store employee can help out with the mobile they already have with them,” ING’s Laurens Schretlen told Telegraaf.

The makers say their app provides more convenience for customers and makes retailers, who don’t need to purchase additional devices, more flexible. The device would accept normal Dutch debit cards, some credit cards and Apple Pay and Google Pay.

Shorter queues are another hoped-for benefit, as virtually all employees will become swap bodies.

The trial will begin later this month at three of Hema’s 550 branches. Less checkout space could mean more display space, the company suggested. But Hema says it’s not phasing out traditional checkout counters just yet. ‘A normal cash register is and remains necessary today. We see this as an additional service,” a spokesperson said.

App developers say other major retail chains are already showing interest.

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