Just a few weeks ago, I noted that the point-of-sale (POS) software had been updated at my local Walmart, such that I selected any cash back amount before entering my pin, instead of after. Reader Serion presciently advised me in the comments:
"My WM got the update you're talking about a few weeks ago. However, they just got ANOTHER update ~2 days ago. With this update, it won't allow them to split debit payments. Everytime they key in $500 debit, the system beeps and says transaction type not allowed. Has anyone else ran into this. Know any way around it? (It'll allow you to run a single $500 debit purchase w/o a problem)"
That update has now been rolled out to my Walmart, and while it is somewhat annoying that they keep changing the procedure (and making us retrain their cashiers), I'm happy to report that we can still conduct all of our favorite transactions. Here's how.
Old system: cashier goes first
With the old POS software, after the final total was calculated for your purchase, the cashier had the option of typing in a split-tender amount on the physical keypad located to the right of the screen.
After typing in the amount, he or she would press the physical "debit" button, also located on the right side of the terminal.
Then, the customer could swipe a debit card, select the amount of cash back desired, if any, and type in their PIN.
This procedure could be repeated up to 4 times total (3 times if loading a Bluebird card).
New system: customer goes first
Once your Walmart receives the updated POS software, the process is reversed.
Now, after the final total is calculated for the purchase, the customer can swipe a debit card, select a cash back amount, and enter their PIN.
After the PIN is entered, the customer-facing keypad will read "Waiting for Cashier," and only then can the cashier type in the amount to be charged to the swiped debit card and push the "debit" button, again using the physical key located on the right side of the screen.
In fact, the cashier can type in the amount of the split tender before the customer swipes a debit card – what triggered reader Serion's repeated error was the cashier pressing the "debit" button before he had swiped his debit card and entered his PIN.
This procedure can still be repeated at least 4 times (that's how many swipes I did this morning).
The new POS software has been reported to have something to do with making Walmart registers compatible with chip-enabled credit and debit cards. I don't know anything about that – my Walmart registers are most decidedly not compatible with chip-enabled cards, but already have the new software.
In any case, I was fortunate enough, because they know and trust me, to be able to do multiple laps with my cashiers until we figured out the pattern that worked. Since my readers may be dealing with less cooperative cashiers, I want them to know how to get through this process as painlessly as possible.
However, you should still expect some confusion, frustration, and delays the first few times you go through this process with each new cashier.