Walmart Creates A Surprising New Change to the Self Check Out

A few years ago, paying for groceries and household items at a grocery store or big box store like Target or Walmart meant bringing your items to a register where a cashier would scan your items and bag them for you. Then self-checkout registers were introduced, but there were still quite a few lanes available with cashiers to scan your items for you.

Now, some stores only have self-checkout, but not everyone likes it. While it might make sense for stores to switch to self-checkout so that they don’t need to hire as many employees, it also puts the burden on the customers to scan and bag their own items, which is a turnoff to some customers. In addition, when customers are responsible for scanning their own items, it can be easier for customers to steal items either on purpose or on accident by not scanning their items correctly.

Walmart seems to like self checkout, and if you’ve been to a Walmart store recently you probably already know that. In fact, Walmart is adding a perk that will make self-checkout at their stores more appealing than ever before to some of theri customers.

In a surprising twist, Walmart has added a feature to their self-checkout kiosks to help customers who may be struggling to afford the items in their cart pay for the items over time. Instead of worrying about customers potentially stealing items when using self-checkout, Walmart is encouraging customers to pay for only part of their order upfront and pay for the rest later.

Walmart has partnered with Affirm to add this perk to their self-checkout kiosks. In a news release, Affirm explained, “Eligible shoppers can easily pay over time for their favorite electronics, apparel, toys, and more in simple monthly payments when checking themselves out in-store.”

Affirm Senior Vice President Pat Suh told The Street, “Recent Affirm research revealed that more than half of Americans (54%) are looking for retailers to offer a buy now, pay later option at checkout. Moreover, we’ve found that 76% of consumers would either delay or not make a purchase without Affirm.”

While the buy now pay later option may sound appealing, tread cautiously. The U.S. government’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency warns, “Many BNPL lenders use soft credit bureau inquiries to approve borrowers. Existing credit scoring systems are not designed to capture the very short-term nature and structure of BNPL loans.” In addition, “Incomplete reporting of BNPL loans could make it difficult for lenders to know the total dollar amount of debts and other obligations that applicants have before determining whether to approve them for new credit.”

Watch the video below for more about his new feature Walmart is adding to their self-checkout kiosks.

Do you think the buy now pay later option is a good idea? Do you think this feature will make people more likely to shop at Walmart?