Why Apple Is Checking Out Wal-Mart
But now it's looking for ways to trim down on those expenses while improving arguably one of its chief weaknesses - the checkout process. To that end, it has called upon Apple (AAPL) to help revolutionize the way its customers shop and pay.
"But I'm starting to get the sense that these card companies, many of which have introduced convenience to the payment process, could be in trouble. Although they were successful at convincing consumers that it is best to leave their cash and checkbooks at home, it is not out of the realm of possibility that they could soon become the dinosaurs of the payment process, if they don't adapt.
"The one thing consumers can't ever be without is their cellphones. That's why vendors like Starbucks (SBUX) , which recently formed a partnership with Square, are becoming more open to the idea of mobile payments, a new craze that has the potential to eventually become the world's currency. If this happens, it would mean that in addition to seeing Visa and MasterCard logos on the doors of your favorite store, you will see logos of Apple and Google (GOOG) ".
Well, it now looks as if this very idea has started. The premise was simple -- if stores are able to cut down some time during on the checkout process, not only will it benefit the consumer but it is certain to minimize loss revenue while improving margins.
In Walmart's case, it understands that even though its stores have self-pay kiosks where customers are able execute their own transactions, $12 million per second on cashier expenses remains glaring enough that it needed to do something about it. Its competitive future depends on it.