California Lawmakers Pass Legislation Regulating The Use Self-Checkout

The California Senate has just passed a new bill that would put rules on how supermarkets and drugstores can use self-checkout kiosks.

If the bill becomes law, which seems likely, stores would have to assign one worker to watch over no more than two self-checkout machines at a time.

This worker wouldn’t be allowed to do any other tasks. Stores would also only be able to let customers use self-checkout for purchases of 15 items or less.

Before using any new technology like robots, sensors, or AI, stores would have to do a study to see how it might affect workers and customers.

They would also need to look at whether certain groups of people, like seniors, people with disabilities, or those without access to technology, might have trouble using self-checkout.

Some stores, like Walmart, are already cutting back on self-checkout.

A Walmart spokesperson said they’re saving some self-checkout lanes for customers who use their special “Scan and Go” service or for delivery drivers.

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Even though lawmakers want to put limits on self-checkout, a lot of customers really like using it.

A study showed that 84% of Americans enjoy self-service kiosks, and two-thirds would rather use them than regular checkout lanes.

Another study found that 60% of U.S. retailers think their customers would switch to a different store if they didn’t have self-checkout.

Self-service is becoming popular in restaurants too.

A company called Bite, which makes self-service kiosks for fast-food places and convenience stores, just raised $9 million from investors.

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Bite’s CEO said their technology can help restaurants succeed by letting them use machines for some tasks and giving workers more time for important things.