Now you can pay for your 7-Eleven purchase on your phone

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Now you can get your 7-Eleven Slurpee without a visit to the cashier.

The convenience store chain announced it has brought a new 7-Eleven Mobile Checkout system to about 616 stores in B.C., Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario so customers can have a contactless experience.

You basically scan the barcode on each product, pay using Apple Pay, Google Pay or a debit or credit card through the 7-Eleven app, which is free of charge, and collect points on its 7Rewards loyalty program. (For a limited time, there are 10 times the points for every purchase made.)

“We started developing this technology really based on a lot of customer feedback that told us that they want faster ways to move through the store,” said Norman Hower, VP/GM of 7-Eleven Canada down the line from Calgary on Tuesday.

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“We’re already pretty fast but they want fast and convenient ways to check out especially if helps avoid the lines (at the cash register.)”

Hower says 7-Eleven has been developing this technology since 2018 and started using it in 3,000 of their U.S. stores first “where it’s been well received by customers,” before crossing the border to Canada

But did the COVID-19 pandemic speed up this move?

“I would say that COVID has enhanced some of the features of it,” said Hower.

“Contactless, right? So you’re not having other people touch your products. You’re scanning the products yourself. You’re paying on your own device so, in some stores, it’s a self-serve kiosk, but it’s your phone becoming your register.”

The move makes 7-Eleven the first retailer in the country to introduce this feature chainwide in Canada (they don’t have stores east of Ontario) and the plan is to bring the mobile checkout system to the remaining 6,000 U.S. stores by 2022.

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But what about customers with sticky fingers? Does this system make it easier to shoplift?

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Hower says those working in the stores have a tracker to show what people are or aren’t purchasing on the contactless mobile app or if they need assistance.

“What we’ve seen in the states is that there’s been no increase in shoplifting or theft associated with this technology,” said Hower, who adds there is an audio alert and a red visual flash to tell store employees when there’s a problem with the mobile transaction happening at what they call “a confirmation station” near the store’s door exit.

“We’ve seen very little impact. Shoplifting is something that exists in all retail. This has not had an incremental effect on that.”

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