Woolworths introduces QR Code Payment: Covid was just a Warm Up

Modernity. Female MD poses for photo with culture enricher.

How is this any easier than just giving someone a $100 note and getting change for it? Because face it, when was the last time you spent less than fifty bucks at the supermarket?

Supermarket giant Woolworths has rolled out a groundbreaking new QR code payment system that it says will make shopping faster and more secure.

From today, shoppers in Woolworths and Big W stores around the country will be able to pay for their groceries using a QR code that is linked to a digital wallet on their smartphone.

Dubbed “Everyday Pay”, the technology has been built by Woolworth’s payment arm Wpay and is one of the first of its kind in the country.

The way it works is simple: customers can download the Everyday Rewards app and then punch in the details of their preferred credit, debit or gift card.

Then at the checkout, all customers have to do is scan the QR code presented by the terminal, upon which the app will automatically deduct the transaction from the nominated account.

Woolworths says the new system will make shopping faster because customers will no longer have to scan their Everyday Rewards card prior to paying normally.

It’s problem-reaction-solution. What if you don’t want an everyday rewards card because you don’t want to be in their system and the “rewards” are negligible, and you just want to get change for that $100 note?

This whole “we’re making payment simpler” line is completely stupid. They made it unnecessarily complicated in the first place, then offered a solution which just happens to involve centralising all your personal information and all your banking in the one spot.

They have been trying to push this nonsense for two decades. One of my first jobs when I entered the workforce was promoting EzyBanking, an scheme involving the Commonwealth Bank and Woolworths which would allow you to do all your banking at the supermarket.

It’s how I discovered just how much people hate banks. The years since have informed me why people hate banks. The last five years or so instructed me on just how evil banks really are, and the last two years have instructed me just how devious they can be.

With EzyBanking, they had the idea, but they lacked the technology. They also required an engineered crisis to help transform consumer behaviour. That engineered crisis was Covid. They were able to normalise checking in with QR codes wherever you go, and they demonised the use of dirty cash which apparently spreads Covid.

“We know speed, ease and contactless payment at the checkout is important to our customers as they lead increasingly busy lives,” Everyday managing director Hannah Ross said.

“Everyday Pay from Everyday Rewards has been designed with this need top of mind.

“By integrating the ease of QR code payments, with our Everyday Rewards app, we can save customers time at the checkout and help ensure they never miss a rewards point again.”

The Everyday Rewards app is used by one million Australians every week and rewards regular users by offering point offers, shopping specials and fuel discounts.

Woolworths says the QR code system is another way of promoting “contactless” payments and will cut down on the environmental waste of paper receipts.

Allow a megacorporation to centralise all your personal data and banking in the one point because climate change and Covid. Do you know what else would make shopping both easier and safer? You could connect it to your social media accounts. That way, Woolworths could team up with Facebook’s fact checking department to protect you from hatespeech and harmful misinformation when you tell them everywhere you go and give them details about every cent you spend.

It also means that if there is a food shortage this year, they can prevent panic buying, limit access to food for bigots and conspiracy theorists, and ensure that everybody has access to just enough food to survive.

Also, have you sampled the future meat section? Bugs are the future, don’t you know.

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David has studied history and political science at Melbourne University. His thesis was written on how the utilisation of Missile Defence can help to achieve nuclear disarmament. His interest in history was piqued by playing a flight simulator computer game about the Battle of Britain, and he hopes to one day siphon the earnings from his political writings into funding the greatest prog-rock concept album the world has ever seen.