Aiming to make the shopping experience less painful, mobile point-of-sale platform QThru launched an app that lets consumers bypass checkout lines and pay with their smartphones.

Consumers scan the barcodes of the items they wish to purchase, which are stored in a virtual shopping cart. To complete the transaction, the user then scans a quick-response code available at a kiosk. Details about the location of the items consumers need and are also available.

"Many brick-and-mortar retailers are recognizing their customers want a fast and easy shopping experience that makes them feel valued," says Aaron Roberts, founder and CEO of QThru, in a Dec. 5 press release. "With QThru, shoppers are empowered to select and purchase items in-store, right from their smartphones — further strengthening their allegiance to retailers."

Integrating with the retailer’s POS system, QThru provides real-time price and product updates. Retailers accepting the system benefit from increased sales with faster checkouts and more satisfied customers.

Plus the app leverages consumer shopping history so retailers can better match special offers with customers.

Earlier this year, Walmart launched a test mobile checkout that allowed customers to scan items with their smartphones before reaching the point of sale. The test, plus Walmart’s participation in the Merchant Customer Exchange, shows the company’s desire to push consumers to throw out their leather wallets for mobile devices.

QThru plans on rolling out the mobile app service to 14 retail and grocery stores in the Seattle area by the end of March 2013.

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