Walmart built an Amazon Go-style 'fast lane' that allows customers to skip the checkout register — here's how it works

Walmart CanadaWalmart Canada has debuted a new checkout system called ‘fast lane.’
  • WalmartCanada debuted a new checkout system called “fast lane” that lets customers avoid cashiers and registers.
  • Customers scan order barcodes in the “fast lane,” then show their receipts to a Walmart worker before exiting the store.
  • The system has debuted in a newly opened store in Toronto that Walmart says will serve as a prototype for future store renovations.
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Walmart Canada has debuted a new checkout system called “fast lane” that lets customers avoid cashiers and registers.

“Skip the checkout and skip on home,” reads an ad for the fast lane, which is designed for users of the company’s mobile app My Walmart.

Here’s how it works: My Walmart users scan items with their phones as they shop. Once a user is finished shopping, they click “checkout” to receive a barcode.

Next, the customer scans the order barcode at one of four scanning stations in the fast lane.

This action charges the credit card the My Walmart user has on file.

Finally, just before exiting the store, customers present their mobile receipts to a worker tending the fast lane.

The fast lane could be built into future stores. The system has debuted in a newly opened store in Toronto that Walmart said would serve as a prototype for future store renovations.

Read more: Ex-Walmart exec says theft helped kill Walmart’s cashierless checkout technology

“With our new urban supercenter concept, we’re continuing to position ourselves as a leader in store design and retail innovation,” Lee Tappenden, the president and CEO of Walmart Canada, said in a statement on the new Toronto store.

“We’re introducing new partners, testing new and innovative technologies, integrating e-commerce with bricks-and-mortar and updating our assortment to improve the customer shopping experience and to appeal more to young families in urban markets,” he added.

The fast lane is similar to Scan & Go, a now discontinued Walmart US program that let customers scan and pay for items on their mobile phones. With Scan & Go, however, Walmart customers didn’t have a designated checkout area like the fast lane.

Walmart killed Scan & Go last year and replaced it with Check Out With Me, which enables roaming Walmart employees to process customers’ payments using handheld devices.

Walmart isn’t the only company experimenting with cashierless checkout.

Amazon‘s brick-and-mortar Amazon Go stores allow customers to pick up and pay for items without scanning any product barcodes. And Kroger has launched its own version of Scan & Go, called Scan, Bag, Go.

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