This app is simple to use, helps you avoid long lines at checkout and is a great use of technology

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Shopping at Sam’s Club isn’t usually fun, particularly in the holiday season when checkout lines are long, but its “Scan & Go” app makes it a lot less painful.

I love technology, but I love it most when it solves problems for me. And so, somewhat sheepishly, I have to admit that I love Sam’s Club’s “Scan & Go” app that I have on my iPhone.

It is simply a great use of technology, but the primary benefit is that you can bypass the checkout lines when you’re done shopping and head right for the exits, which at this time of the year is a massive timesaver.

The app also saves your receipts for you, so you don’t have to go fishing around in a drawer for the correct one if someone buys you a large shirt and, ahem, you need a 2XL.

It takes advantage of the smartphone’s GPS to recognize that you are in a Sam’s Club store. It then uses the phone’s camera to scan an item’s barcode. It stores your Sam’s Club membership card and payment method in a digital wallet safely and securely.

When you arrive at Sam’s Club, which is never on my list of my favorite things to do, you open the app and it will show you a list of stores in your area, with the store you’re in at the top of the list. Tap the name of the store you’re in and then begin to shop.

When you put an item in your cart, take a picture of its barcode. Once you center the barcode between the green lines, the app does all the work. It shows the item with the price, and there is a dropdown menu that you can click for quantity if you buy more than one of it.

After you’ve done that, drop the item into your shopping cart and continue shopping. When you’re done, you click the checkout button and tap payment method. You can literally do this anywhere in the store.

When you do, it pops a barcode on the screen and prompts you to show it to an associate as you leave. Instead of handing your receipt to the worker at the exit, you show the app. They scan it to see what you have and check your cart, as they would with a paper receipt.

That’s it, and you’re done.

Now, this isn’t the most spectacular smartphone app ever made, but it is a great use of all of the technolgies in your phone to make life a little easier. Instead of waiting in a 10- or 15-minute line and dodging people who are shopping and pushing their carts without looking, you are able to easily head to the exit.

I give it an A+! It makes me almost — though not quite — want to keep going back to Sam’s Club.

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