Friday, June 2, 2006

PBT Nominated for Two European Awards

A new high tech method of paying for shopping with a fingerprint scan at The Midcounties Co-operative has been short-listed for two national industry awards.

The Oxford-based regional Society has been shortlisted in the Grocer Gold Awards ‘Best Business Initiative’ category for its Pay By Touch checkouts, launched in March at three Oxfordshire stores.

This cutting edge technology is also in the final of the European Retail Solutions (ERS) Awards in the ‘EPoS Initiative of the Year’ category, which the Society won in 2003 for the introduction of self-scanning checkouts.

Headington Co-op was the first UK store to introduce this innovative payment method in March, with further installations following soon after in Summertown and Carterton.

Pay By Touch allows customers to pay by using a previously registered fingerprint and pin number, so no cash or cards are required.

The Midcounties Co-operative is up against fellow finalists Asda and the National Federation of Retail Newsagents for the Grocer award, which will be presented on 14 June at the prestigious Dorchester Hotel in London.

The ERS Awards will be held at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole on 6 June, with the competition including Mothercare, Staples and Tesco.

Rob Morgan, head of retail systems development for The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Pay By Touch is a UK first and has proved to be a real hit with customers because it helps them get through the checkout faster without needing to have cash or cards.

“This is the type of efficient technology that our customers want and benefits the business because it is more secure, cheaper and quicker than paying at traditional checkouts.

“The initial trial includes three of our stores and we will then look into plans for rolling this new convenient method of payment into other branches.”

Customers can register for the free Pay By Touch service in store, or via the internet and activate it when visiting a participating store. The secure and convenient system uses a simple method of finger imaging, with payment made directly from the customer’s bank account.

Ben Reid, chief executive designate for The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “The Midcounties Co-operative has always striven to be ahead of the crowd with new innovations and Pay By Touch is another pioneering advance for UK shoppers.

“Being shortlisted in these awards with some major national names is another proud achievement as we continue to embrace new customer friendly technologies.”

The European Retail Solutions Awards 2006 - Shortlist

EPoS Initiative of the Year

Midcounties Co-operative, Pay By Touch
Mothercare, BT Expedite, Store 6 Staples, Fujitsu Services, GlobalSTORE Tesco, Camelot Group