Supermarket Payment Systems… A Matter of Trust or Just Better Customer Service?

When I first saw Sheng Siong implement a new checkout system at its West Coast outlet about a year ago, my initial thought was that there was a lack of trust. They do not trust the customers to honestly or accurately scan the items in their basket. And they do not trust their staff in handling money.


Cold Storage and NTUC have fully self-service checkout counters. I try not to use them, as I am just too lazy to scan and pack my own groceries. I prefer a little more service.

Now do Cold Storage and NTUC really trust the customers more?  I doubt so. It is their way to the minimising of staff required. It could be a result of cost cutting or difficulty in hiring staff.

Now that the Sheng Siong at my place has also implemented the dual phase checkout system, I have different thoughts. I actually like it.

It is a lot faster than a normal cashier and I like the fact they they pack my groceries. It may sound like a cheap thrill, but I just found out what I can do with my bag of coins.

I bought $21.30 worth of groceries. I poured my bag of coins into the payment machine and it counts the coins – all $6.70 worth of 10 cent coins. There was still a balance of $14.60 that I have to pay. I slotted in two $10 notes and received a crisp $5 note and two twenty cents in change.

Now I can freely use up my coins without having the cashier show me a long face and customers behind me looking on unhappily.

With the system, I also noticed that checkout staff at Sheng Siong are smiling more.




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