Costco using new scanners to stop membership sharing

In an effort to crack down on non-members using membership cards, Costco is testing new technology that could be used as another way to verify a shopper’s membership status.

A photo from Costco Insider on X, formally known as Twitter, shows a Costco employee scanning a shopper’s membership card before entering a warehouse in Issaquah, Washington.

The post also states that employees will ask customers to show their IDs to ensure the photo on the Costco card matches the ID. Users on Reddit have detailed a similar process.

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A Costco representative confirmed to KTLA that the company is testing the new technology at certain locations.

“A few Costco locations are scanning Costco membership cards at the entrance. This test is to match members to their cards at the door prior to shopping for an improved member experience,” the statement said.

The company didn’t share if the new membership verification method would be expanded nationwide.

Currently, shoppers have to show store employees their membership cards upon entering a warehouse location and at checkout lanes.

Costco announced in June that it’s cracking down on unauthorized usage of membership cards by instructing employees to spot-check for membership cards in self-checkout lines, where the bulk of the unauthorized card-sharing takes place.

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“We don’t feel it’s right that non-members receive the same benefits and pricing as our members,” the company said in a statement to Insider. “As we already asked for the membership card at checkout, we are now asking to see their membership card with their photo at our self-service checkout registers.

The crackdown is also viewed as a way to boost revenue as consumers cut back on spending due to rising inflation and reduce shoplifting.

For those interested in becoming official Costco members, the company’s Gold Star membership costs $60 and the Executive membership costs $120.

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