Loyalty360 Reads: January 28: Sam’s Club Begins National Deployment of Automated Inventory Analytics Robots, Apple to Rival Square by Turning iPhones Into Payment Terminals, and More

Sam’s Club Begins National Deployment of Automated Inventory Analytics Robots
Sam’s Club announced the national, chain-wide rollout of Inventory Scan that will be added to their existing fleet of robotic scrubbers in partnership with Brain Corp and Tennant Company. The rollout marks the largest and fastest technology deployment undertaken by Brain Corp, an artificial intelligence (AI) company creating transformative core technology in robotics and the first commercial application of its inventory scanning technology anywhere in the world.

“Sam’s Club is hyper-focused on making sure our members have a seamless shopping experience, so any time-saving innovation we can implement is significant. By adding Inventory Scan to our current fleet of robotic scrubbers, we obtain critical inventory data that previously was time-consuming to obtain,” said Todd Garner, VP of In Club Product Management at Sam’s Club. “This intelligence allows us to proactively manage our clubs in an efficient manner. Inventory Scan assures items are available and easy to locate in the club, freeing up time for our associates to focus on members and the shopping experience they deserve.”
Apple to Rival Square by Turning iPhones Into Payment Terminals
Apple is planning a new service that will let small businesses accept payments directly on their iPhones without any extra hardware, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

The company has been working on the new feature since around 2020 when it paid about $100 million for a Canadian startup called Mobeewave that developed technology for smartphones to accept payments with the tap of a credit card. The system will likely use the iPhone’s near field communications, or NFC, chip currently used for Apple Pay.

To accept payments on an iPhone today, merchants need to use payment terminals that plugin or communicate with the phone via Bluetooth. Instead, the upcoming feature will turn the iPhone into a payment terminal, letting users such as food trucks and hairstylists accept payments with the tap of a credit card or another iPhone onto the back of their device.
Affirm Launches SuperApp and Browser Extension to Bring Consumers More Smart Ways to Shop and Manage Their Finances
Affirm, a payment network that empowers consumers and helps merchants drive growth, announced the launch of two significant additions to its product suite: the Affirm SuperApp and Chrome browser extension. Affirm’s new SuperApp delivers the best of Affirm’s shopping, payments, and financial services in one easy-to-use destination. The new Google Chrome browser extension allows consumers to use Affirm’s flexible and transparent payment solutions at virtually any retailer’s website, even if Affirm isn’t listed as being available at checkout.

“We know that consumers want a one-stop shop to manage their finances. Affirm saw this firsthand when we added Savings to our app, which has since attracted more than $300 million in total deposits while driving meaningful engagement,” said Max Levchin, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Affirm. “By evolving the Affirm app into a super app, we have launched the ultimate destination for consumers to shop their favorite brands and smartly manage their finances, while also delivering a seamless, rewarding, and increasingly personalized experience.”

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