CAMP ZAMA, Japan – Commissary customers can now use new checkout systems designed to provide more convenience to their shopping experience.
The Camp Zama commissary finished installing the upgraded electronic scanning registers on Tuesday, and a similar project at the Sagamihara Family Housing Area commissary is slated to be done next Tuesday, said Totolua Ripley Jr., director of both stores.
Ripley said the modernized software in the systems allows customers to complete transactions faster, which can help reduce lines during peak hours.
“The advantage is that we have a newer system,” he said. “It’s going to be quicker for [the customers]. It scans right away, whereas the old one had a tendency to lag and then it would finally register.”
The project is part of a Defense Commissary Agency-wide update to replace aging systems with state-of-the-art technology that meets current grocery industry standards, he said.
The NCR Emerald systems, which have larger 15-inch displays, began to roll out to overseas commissaries last year and continue to be implemented across Japan.
The previous systems have been around since 2008, Ripley said, adding that they need to be replaced every 12 to 15 years to meet standards.
The project can take up to five days to replace the systems at each commissary, he said, but some checkout lanes have remained open for customers to continue their shopping.
James Keller, chief of 78th Signal Battalion’s Desktop Support Branch, visited the commissary on Tuesday to purchase groceries. He said the system was more user-friendly and its popup commands were appropriate, including a prompt that confirms the amount before customers complete a payment.
“I appreciate that they put a little bit more effort into making things clear for a general user,” he said. “I think it’s going to be a lot easier now. The screen is a little bit bigger and the touch technology is obviously updated. It was much more receptive.”
The systems will also let customers have curbside pickup with CLICK2GO, which is DeCA’s online ordering service that was rolled out to installations across Japan in September.
“When [customers are] using CLICK2GO, there is a payment platform in there that allows for them to pay for their groceries,” Ripley said.
Online payments were not available with the previous systems and customers had to come into the stores to finalize purchases.
Customers can go to commissaries.com to register for an account. Once they make an online purchase, customers notify commissary staff once outside the store and then show them a transaction barcode, along with their ID card, in order to receive their purchases.