Monday, July 24, 2006

PBT Pilot Extended in UK

More Shoppers Get in Touch

Three more Co-ops are to be kitted out with equipment that will allow shoppers to pay using their index fingerprint after the supermarket chain decided to extend a trial of Pay by Touch technology. (Click Picture on Left to Enlarge)

The biometric payment system is
already being trialled in three Co-ops around the Oxfordshire area by the Mid Counties Co-operative.

The pilot was initially slated to last 16 weeks but the society has decided to extend the timeframe for the first three stores and roll out the technology to an additional three stores to see what different demographics think of the technology.

It's been received well by elderly people - they like the idea of going out without having to carry a bag with a purse in it.

A Mid Counties Co-op spokesman told the society has extended the trial to get a better insight into customer opinions. "We were very pleased with the trial but we decided we needed more knowledge under our belts," he said.

Registered shoppers have their fingerprint linked with credit card or debit card information and verify payment by pressing their digit against a reader. According to the Co-op, using Pay by Touch is 20 per cent quicker than using chip and PIN.

Recent research by the society found that of the 1,000 shoppers questioned, half had already signed up to the scheme or planned to do so soon. Co-op's spokesman said: "It's been received well by elderly people - they like the idea of going out without having to carry a bag with a purse in it."

The pioneering system of paying for shopping with the touch of a finger has scooped a major industry award for The Midcounties Co-operative. Pay By Touch, has won the ‘Most Effective Use of IT in Retail’ award at the Information Age Effective IT 2006 awards in London. Pay By Touch allows customers to pay by using their finger and a memorable number, so no cash or cards are required.

The Effective IT awards celebrate the best of UK IT, with winners selected for their outstanding application of information technology in the creation of business value.

An independent judging panel, made up of some of the IT industry’s most senior executives, chose the winners from a record number of entries. Awards were presented at Room by the River in London.

Ben Reid, chief executive of The Midcounties Co-operative, said: “Pay By Touch has been a superb innovation for the business and our customers, and we are delighted to have picked up such a prestigious award for its successful introduction.

“It is a quick and secure method of payment for customers, as well as enhancing our reputation as one of the most innovative retailers in the UK. “The initial planning was started by Oxford

The Co-op has not given figures for how long the next phase of the trial will last or how many people have signed up for the program.

The spokesman said: "We've had good feedback and good sign-up. We're happy with the way it's going." The three stores will be situated in the Forest of Dean, Highworth and Swindon.