I love the idea of paying for your purchases with nothing but a phone. I do so many other things with my phone…ie appointments, investments, banking, bill paying, etc. It only makes sense that I would be down with using an app to pay for the stuff I buy, like groceries. Of course until this week I thought most good options were limited to those who have an iPhone. I am a die hard Android girl and a Samsung Galaxy fan. I was look forward to a reputable app I could use. I like the idea of not having to bring my wallet with me everywhere but I never leave home without my phone.
I was thrilled to find out a few weeks ago that CurrentC is in beta for use in Columbus, OH. That is where I live! CurrentC is an easy-to-use mobile app that saves you time and money by centralizing your loyalty cards and payment accounts, and automatically applying coupons, promotions and loyalty rewards at checkout. It can be used at the cash register, restaurant table, drive-thru or fuel pump.
Ready to give it a try, I installed the app. First I added my checking account as a payment method. I then added my Giant Eagle loyalty card because that is one of the participating stores I go to regularly. I can also enter gift cards as a method of payment at many participating stores. If adding a checking account bothers you, you can go that route instead.
Once I was set up I went to Giant Eagle to take it for a test run. I needed to buy some food for packed lunches, Halloween candy to pass out, and some other various things. They had a few good sales. Even though it is not my main store (Aldi is my fave!) I still go here when Aldi does not have what I want or need because we use the fuel perks to get free gas. This is also the closest store to my home.
When I was finished shopping I went through a self checkout lane because that is pretty much the only checkout lane I use. I scanned all my groceries and then when it was time to checkout and select my method of payment I selected CurrentC. I then opened the app on my phone and did the following:
Entered my secret code to “unlock” the app
Selected Checkout at the bottom of the screen
Selected “Shop” (Other options are Dine and Pump)
Scanned the QR code on the Giant Eagle touchscreen
The method of payment is displayed just above the window where you scan the QR code, so you can verify that this is the right payment source before scanning. For me it said this purchase would be pulled from my checking account. After scanning, the checkout computer spent a few seconds thinking and I was notified simultaneously on the checkout screen and on my phone that my transaction had gone through. Easy peasy!
It is important to note that there is a code to unlock the app that must be entered before you can use it. If someone steals my phone they won’t be shopping with it. And if you are still worried, you can call their customer care and they can lock the app completely.
As you can see from my receipt, CurrentC is the method of payment. Since most people would use it to draw directly from checking or savings accounts, this app potentially saves the retailer lots in card processing fees. They have to pay fees every time you use your debit card or credit card. So apps like these are kinda win-win. I get the convenience of paying with my phone and participating stores get to save money.
Also be aware that seeing you break out a phone while at a self checkout lane can make some people go berserk. Because before you pay for all the groceries you just scanned OF COURSE you are going to text, surf the Internet, or take a selfie right? Yeah, I had a really rude lady behind me demand to know what I was doing and how long it was going to take. Just try to smile and say “I am paying for my groceries with my phone. You ought to try it!”