Sainsbury's pilots 'mobile scan & go'

Sainsbury's pilots 'mobile scan & go'

UK supermarket giant Sainsbury's has begun trialling a service that lets customers scan items as they shop using their phone and pay at the till without unloading their trolley.

To sign up for the 'Mobile Scan & Go' service, customers first download an app from the Apple or Google Play store and register using their Nectar card and their local store.

When they go shopping, they log in to the app with their Nectar card details and scan the 'check in' QR code at the front of the store.

They then use their Android or iPhone's camera to scan items as they shop. The app tracks how much customers have spent and shows savings that can be made with offers and deals.

Once customers have finished their shopping, they scan the 'check out' QR code at the till and pay by cash or card.

The service is currently being piloted with a small number of Nectar card customers at three Sainsbury's stores.

Luke Jensen, group development director, Sainsbury's, says: "Our innovative Mobile Scan & Go technology is fantastic for those wanting to manage their budget or simply those who want a quicker in-store experience."

Comments: (6)

Melvin Haskins
Melvin Haskins - Haston International Limited - 19 October, 2012, 17:581 like 1 like

So why do you have to pay with cash or a card - why not pay on the phone?

Nick Green
Nick Green - ISD Consultants - Northampton 21 October, 2012, 14:47Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Why not pay on your phone? To me the answer is four fold:

1. Somethings may not have scanned and the cashier may have to do it,

2. This is entirely under Sainsbury's control they don't have to involve anyone else to integrate payments,


3. They test consumer response. If they don't get consumer traction they haven't wasted money integrating payments for something consumers don't want.


4. To stop people walking out the store with a trolly full of booze that they haven't actually paid for.

Alexander De Lange
Alexander De Lange - Aurelia Financial Consultants cc - Johannesburg 22 October, 2012, 05:11Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

@ Nick Green:

If the shopper does not have to unload his/her trolley (as stated in the article), your points 1 and 4 don not make sense?

Nealle Page
Nealle Page - Looking for new opportunities - London 22 October, 2012, 09:12Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes Another point to consider if you take payment on the phone, you turn a card present transaction into a card not present transaction. Increasing costs and risks associated with the transaction. To Nick's point about walking out without paying, a valid risk, there is regal risks that they sell someone something they ought not to buy, knives to under 18's, booze to teens etc. If you meant paying with NFC, the current CIO has been heard to say that on his watch Sainsbury's will not support it. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
A Finextra member
A Finextra member 22 October, 2012, 09:23Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

As a regular Sainsburys customer, this is just as small evolution from in-store handheld scanners to using your own phone. If it means Sainsburys provides in-store wifi then great, at the moment I get absolutely no signal once I step inside the door of my local store ... Faraday cage effect?

Ketharaman Swaminathan
Ketharaman Swaminathan - GTM360 Marketing Solutions - Pune 23 October, 2012, 17:15Be the first to give this comment the thumbs up 0 likes

Mobile payments - whether done by NFC or QR code or whatever - are always treated as CNP, thereby attracting higher MDF costs. This is true not just in this specific case but in all contexts. 'Walking out without scanning' - and hence paying - for something is a real risk with such mobile self-checkout systems. When I inquired with the provider of one such system about this point, I was told that shop-lifting happens even in cashier/till-based checkout systems and that it hasn't found any significant evidence that self-checkout poses a greater risk of shop-lifting. While the digerati might be satisfied with this reply, I personally found it very feeble and so might retail executives who have to bear the cost of pilferage.