Woolies opens self service checkouts

The checkout chick could soon go the way of the dinosaur if supermarket giant Woolworths has its way. This week Woolworths launched Australia’s first self service checkout terminal with plans to have the technology operational across 70 Australian stores by the end of June.

The checkouts dubbed ‘kiosks’ by the company, are operating in 16 stores and have been trialled for the past few months at several Big W outlets. The kiosks allow the customer to scan and pay for their goods without ever having to engage with a cashier.

The technology, dubbed ‘FastLane’ has been developed for Woolworths by National Cash Register, the world’s largest ATM manufacturers. The company has plans take their self service approach to other industries; with self service terminals set to trial in some restaurants by the end of the year.

Speaking with Sydney Morning Herald, Ross Checkley, NCR’s regional managing director, said he expected self-service terminals would be trialled by restaurants this year.

“You will have the capability to interact with a kiosk and place your order automatically, through to the payment of goods so that all you’ve got to do is go straight to the line to collect [your food],” he said.

Checkley said that using self-service kiosks would soon become as familiar to people as filling their cars with petrol.
“When I was a lad there used to be people in coats doing that.”