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General NewsGoodbye cash registers

November 1, 2013

Using a tablet to make a purchase.

  Using a tablet to make a purchase.

Photographer: Garnet Templin-Imel

It’s the holiday season. Shoppers are looking for the perfect gifts. But will they pay for their purchases at a cash register? More stores are beginning to replace cash registers with mobile payment systems like the iPad tablet. For both store owners and customers these new payment systems bring many benefits.

For store owners, mobile payment systems save money and space. A system like the Apple iPad costs about $1,500 compared to $4,000 for a regular cash register.

Tablet payment systems also do not take up floor space. In both big and small stores there is more room to display products. Businesses can decorate tablets with their logos, and clerks can carry the tablets around as they assist customers. This can help stores to avoid long lines for popular products.

And customers like registers coming to them. They can swipe their credit card on the tiny card reader connected to the tablet or mobile device. They sign their name with their finger on the screen, and the receipt is sent by email. It only takes a few minutes.

Apple started using its iPod Touch payment system in 2006. Now Nordstrom and JC Penny are planning to say good bye to cash registers by 2014. Smaller businesses like Molly Moon’s Handmade Ice Cream in Seattle and Coco Donuts in Portland are already benefitting from tablet payment systems.

So get ready! These tablet or mobile payment systems are coming. No need for cash registers. And soon, no need for cash or checks!

Developed by Xiaohui Lu

Published November 2013

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