FTT Embedded Finance


Check out what’s changing with checkout  

Can you remember shopping for groceries as a child?  

Bored and restless, you’d trail behind your mum or dad as they picked out vegetables (gross!) for the weekly shop. Then, they’d head to the till, exchange some cash or swipe their credit card, and you’d be on your way home. Invariably at dinner that evening, you’d be told that eating your vegetables will help you grow big and strong whilst your parents begged you to scoff down some broccoli.   

Whilst elements of the above story will remain constant across generations, children of today and tomorrow will come to find it odd that buying broccoli exclusively encompassed one singular mode of payment.  

Checkouts are changing as an increased consumer appetite for frictionless payment experiences has spearheaded innovation in checkout both on and offline. 

You’ll have to have been living under a rock to not notice how tills have transformed over the past twenty years. From self-service to click and collect, there are a plethora of checkout upgrades that have infiltrated the shopping experience of the everyday consumer. Take a deep dive into some notable innovations below: 

Self-service for the savvy shopper 

Being strong and independent is all range. Didn’t you know?  

Do you know who does know? The modern-day consumer. Self-service checkouts have become an increasingly popular feature in grocery shops and more, up and down the country. Shoppers want minimal friction and maximum efficiency when it comes to purchasing products and self-service checkouts provide the perfect opportunity to achieve this.  

With no requirement to interact with cashiers, self-service checkouts enable customers to pick up a loaf of bread (or some broccoli) quickly and independently whilst simultaneously allowing merchants to deploy their employee manpower elsewhere.  

Easy breezy one click payment processes  

Convenience is key. Convenience is…a click.  

One click payment options have revolutionized the checkout experience for millions of online shoppers across the globe. Pay to click enables customer card details to be saved onto their devices so that when the time comes for them to pay for products, all they must do is click a button to auto-fill their card details, et voila!  

Arguably, this agile checkout innovation has had the greatest impact on making online payments as seamless as possible in comparison to other technological advancements. 

Click and collect  

Click and collect really does exactly what it says on the tin.  

You head over to your favourite online store, select the item you want to buy, click on “click and collect” and simply make your way to the nearest physical store to pick up your items.  

If you’re keen to buy something but don’t have time to spend browsing local shops to find the perfect product, click and collect offers you the convenience of online shopping whilst simultaneously giving you the option to retrieve your purchase at a time and place that’s easy for you to access.  

This hybrid checkout approach really said, “let’s get physical, physical…and digital”, much to the delight of the convenience loving modern day consumer.  

The aforementioned innovations really are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the progressive strides checkout technology is making, and major retailers invest heavily into their payment infrastructure.  

Sainsbury’s reported their sales growing by 173% in 2021 since the launch of their ‘SmartShop’. SmartShops are physical stores which allow customers to use an app linked to their bank account to shop using a “virtual cart”. Customers enter physical stores by scanning a QR code on the app, they can then pick up products off the physical shelves, thus simultaneously adding the products in to their virtual carts. Customers need to scan their QR codes once more to exit the store, after which they’ll be automatically billed via their app and sent a receipt – a truly seamless checkout experience.  

Checkout innovations mutually benefit both the customer and merchant, and emerging technology is only accelerating its impact on the consumer experience. Interested in learning more about checkout innovation from the experts? Discover more at Customer Alpha Europe (London, May 16th) where we’ll be diving into all thing’s consumer experience. We can’t wait to see you there! 

About the author

  • Onesha Liyanage
    Senior Conference Producer

    As Senior Producer for the Embedded Finance and Customer Alpha portfolio, Onesha works with financial service experts to explore challenges and opportunities in the fintech universe. She has a keen interest in how technology is revolutionising the payments landscape and writes regular discussion pieces on all manner of topics related to trailblazing payments innovation, super-apps and the consumer experience.