JSE-listed Altron’s subsidiary Altron Bytes Managed Solutions (Altron BMS) has become the only South African company accredited to provide NCR self-checkout solutions to retailers.

NCR FastLane Self-Checkout (SCO) is a retail offering that allows customers to scan their items at self-service tills, and then pay via a speed point, reducing checkout waiting times by up to 40%. Self-checkout has become the norm in European and US retail markets, introduced to customers more than two decades ago.

Altron BMS is now accredited to install the terminal, which features a user-friendly interface that intelligently guides the consumer through the checkout process using animated demonstrations.

Chad Baker, MD of Altron BMS, says: “The benefit of being able to offer this to our clients is not only in being able to improve their efficiencies and free staff up to provide more customer service value adds, but also in aiding them grow their business, and free up floor space. Research shows that consumers are more likely to do repeat business with a retailer that provides self-checkout technology.”

Self-checkout also provides retailers with the opportunity to upskill and redeploy their employees from front-end checkout duties to provide services elsewhere within the store – from answering in-aisle questions to replacing inventory.

Altron BMS chief technology officer, Vaughn Naidoo, said “With self-checkout, the entire customer experience can be redefined and enhanced to help increase customer satisfaction and encourage customer loyalty. We’re talking a total shift in service philosophy and transforming the end-to-end shopping experience.”

NCR’s SCO has a market share of more than 60 percent and the solution is installed in more than 125 000 checkout lanes globally.

“We are pleased to have been able to build on our long-standing partnership with BMS through aiding the company in achieving this critical certification level,” says NCR’s Avi Ramdhani. “We look forward to continuing to work with them as we continue to roll out technological enhancements.”

To qualify for the accreditation, BMS’ technical team had to show that they were proficient in C++ or C#, Java or COM and XML, as well as industry-standard artificial intelligence messaging, among other database, coding, and networking skills.

Earlier this year, at an awards ceremony held in the United States, Altron Bytes MS was the proud recipient of NCR’s “Service Partner Award” primarily recognised as “Service Provider of the Year”.

“We aim to build on this legacy while continuing to deliver innovative solutions to our clients,” adds Baker.