|Tue Aug 28 2012 16:48:50|
Could Using Mobile Wallets Land You in Jail?
By: Ina Steiner
Could using a mobile payment checkout system land you in jail? That's what one teenager said happened to him at the Apple store when he used the store's mobile app EasyPay option on his phone.
This article in MacWorld is eye-opening for anyone who has used or has considered using a smartphone to pay for items at a brick-and-mortar retailer.
According to MacWorld, the teen said he paid for headphones using the EasyPay option on his phone but, unbeknownst to him, the transaction did not go through. "When you successfully complete a transaction, the Apple Store app clearly states that, to get a bag, "just show a specialist your receipt." Shine says the Apple Store employee he spoke to didn't ask to see his receipt, compounding his own error with the app."
There's likely to be fraud with any self-checkout system, but - with mobile apps in particular - glitches and user error as well. This story highlights the need for retailers and payment services to take a deep breath in the race for the mobile/digital wallet, ensure a good user interface, and recognize that consumers need to be educated about such technology.
Imagine the person who for 50 years or more has never left a store without going through a checkout counter; the distracted parent with kids in tow; the generally absent minded person or the technology-challenged. (Don't we all cringe when we leave a store and the alarm sounds - even when we're sure it's because the clerk forgot to deactivate the anti-theft device on the product we purchased?)
As smartphone adoption increases, the retail industry needs to ensure that early adopters of self-checkout systems don't have to spend the night in jail just because they used your service!