Scotmid a true Chip and PIN success story

- Retail co-op implements Chip and PIN by 2005 deadline–

The Scottish Midland Co-operative Society Ltd (Scotmid), one of Scotland’s top twenty companies, has successfully implemented a Chip and PIN solution before the January 2005 liability shift deadline, subsequently upgrading their customer experience, future proofing their technology and combating card fraud.

SmartCCard, the Chip and PIN transaction processing software from Comms XL, is integrated with retail systems provider VME’s Windows-based RETAIL point of sale software, using Dione terminals. The combined system enables Scotmid to eliminate credit card fraud, as well as making its technology easier to manage and future-proof.

Scotmid has implemented the new system across two of its businesses. Semi-Chem is a chain of 140 discount health & beauty stores. It also operates 130 food stores. These range from convenience stores to large, purpose-built supermarkets that also provide a wide range of products including clothes, toys and household electrical items.

Comms XL’s SmartCCard offers data capture and processing wherever Chip technology is used. It was rolled out in just five weeks to Scotmid’s Semi-Chem stores, which were already running VME’s RETAIL point of sale software.

Robin Kilpatrick, IT Manager of Scotmid, comments: "Our mission is about conducting our business with efficiency and integrity in order to be accountable to our local communities. It is essential that the partners we select are also reliable and trustworthy. Comms XL and VME have continuously demonstrated these ethics. As a result, we have a Chip and PIN compliant solution that eliminates the risk of fraud and provides our customers with a better experience."

Robin continued, "In addition to the investment in new technology, we have always realised that our staff has a major influence on our customer experience, and we did not want to jeopardise the standard of that experience with the roll out of Chip and PIN. So with the implementation planned we concentrated on training the staff at our first store to an extremely high level, who would in turn train the staff at the next store. This has led to incredible support from our staff to ensure our customers experience is not compromised."

Comms XL’s SmartCCard offers retailers the flexibility to integrate other applications, including customer loyalty schemes, electronic purse and payment top-up cards. Scotmid intends to increase its levels of customer service by integrating a dividend system into the solution, using smart cards in the near future.

Wendy Dobson, sales director of Comms XL, comments: "Scotmid are a widely-respected company. Thanks to the hard work and commitment from all parties involved, this has been a true Chip and PIN success story. The rollout was quick and efficient, despite the challenges of some stores being located in the remotest parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland, and the highlight had to be 18 of the stores being rolled out in one night. The staff received the training they needed and Scotmid’s customers are now benefiting from an improved shopping experience."

Wendy concluded, "This project has proved that Chip and PIN does not have to be a headache to retailers. As long as there is good technology, efficient project management and commitment from all parties it can be a success, and I am sure that Scotmid will be benefiting from not receiving charge backs and in turn will pass those benefits onto their customers."

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