Lowe’s home improvement is in the process of deploying 42,000 iPhones to employees to serve as portable payment systems in its retail locations throughout the US, according to Bloomberg. The iPhones will be used by Lowe’s employees to help answer customer questions and handle transactions on the store floor.

If this sounds familiar, it’s because Apple does the exact same thing with iPod touches in its retail stores. Has a retail trend begun?

Instead of having to checkout your paint and toilet seats at the register, a Lowe’s employee will be able to process the transaction in the aisles of the store itself with the iPhone. The smartphones will replace scanner guns, and they will also be used to check inventory. Pretty handy!

Lowe’s plans on rolling out these new ‘payment systems’ by assigning 25 iPhones per store, and the devices will be used with an online app called “MyLowe’s.” Employees will be able to view information like product manuals, warranties, paint formulas, and the Lowe’s database to assist customers.

Apple uses EasyPay to handle transactions, and Old Navy has also begun to use the software on iPhones in its stores. Are we approaching the end of the traditional cash register in retail? We certainly hope so!

[The Next Web]