Scott & I went up the road to Woolies last night (it's open until midnight every night!) to do a little grocery shopping. They've installed the new Self Serve till points so we decided to give it a go! Very exciting!!! For 2 reasons.... Obviously because it's something new & secondly because where we come from, it would just be unheard of!!! Imagine putting in these self serve tills at Pick 'n Pay in Sefrika? Eish!!! They wouldn't last 5 minutes!
So how they work: As you can see above, there's no counter - basically there is a very wide isle between two rows of inward-facing till points. This is not ideal for large trolley loads of groceries - just a bit awkward with too many groceries and trying to maneuver a trolley from emptying to re-loading. There's not really enough space to have two trolleys at your disposal. So baskets are perfect cos you put the basket on the little basket shelf on the left.
The screen is a touch screen and is pretty much idiot proof. You press the start button on the screen and it tells you to scan an item. You scan an item and put it in the bag on the right. There seems to be a weight sensor under the bag (or possibly on the arms of the bag-holder) which will only allow you to scan the next item once the already-scanned item is placed in the bag. If you've got fruit and veg to weigh, you place the item on the scanner window which also doubles as a scale and press the button on the screen which says "weigh", choose from the alphabetic list and click the item you want. Eg: I had chillis - I pressed weigh on the screen. A new screen appeared with little thumbnail pictures of fruit & veg and the alphabet on the right. I pressed C on the right and checked through the thumbnails for baby red Chillis. The weight and price appears on the screen, you press okay and put it in the bag.
When it comes time to pay, you select your payment type - credit card / bank card with cashout / bank card without cashout /cash. I paid on my credit card - the screen said swipe, so I swiped and pressed okay. The screen said sign.......... hrm..... where to sign? No little slip of paper to sign....... Duh!!!! Check out the close up of the terminal - under the credit card machine is a little black gadget with what looks like a loop of wire to the right of it. That's the signing pad - the loop is attached to a solid plastic "pen". As you sign, your signature appears on the screen. There is a Woolies employee hovering around the self serve area. A little light goes on above my head once I've signed and she needs to verify my signature. (If I use a pin code instead, then she's not needed.)
The machine then spews out your receipt and off you go! Easy as pie!!!
I love this country! :-)