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At 7-Eleven? There’s a New Way to Skip Waiting in Line

November 5, 2018, 5:43 PM UTC

Tired of waiting in line at 7-Eleven to pay for candy and chips? The convenience store chain is testing a new way to skip the line and pay using your phone.

In a pilot program starting in 14 stores in Dallas, customers can use a new Scan & Pay feature in the 7-Eleven app, available for Apple iOS and Google Android devices, to scan the barcodes of items they’d like to purchase. Payment is then made through Apple Pay, Google Pay, or by adding a regular credit or debit card to the app.

Customers can’t just walk out the door with their items as they can using the iPhone’s checkout feature at an Apple Store. After scanning and paying on the phone, 7-Eleven customers must display a QR code from their phone to a cashier-less checkout “confirmation station” in the store.

That makes the system more of a hybrid between truly checkout-less mobile payment apps and typical self-checkout stations found in many supermarkets and drugstores that have customers scan barcodes, swipe a credit card, and bag their own items.

It’s also a bit different than Amazon’s (AMZN) completely cashier-less Go convenience stores. In a Go store, cameras and sensors automatically track which items a customer has picked up, with no scanning by the customer. Then a customer pays via an app on their phone when they leave the store. Amazon opened its first Go store in Seattle and has expanded to Chicago and New York, with more cities to come.

To use the Scan & Pay service, customers are required to sign up for 7-Eleven’s loyalty program, 7Rewards. Home of the Slurpee and Big Gulp beverages, 7-Eleven operates or licenses almost 12,000 stores in North America.