Leading pub, hotel and leisure operator Scottish & Newcastle Retail participated in the Northampton chip and PIN trial and used the opportunity for live testing in a very complex sector. Scottish & Newcastle Retail is one of Northampton's largest employers. "As our headquarters are in Northampton, and as the only pub and leisure retailer in the trial, we wanted to take a very active role," comments Jane Kimberlin, IT Director at Scottish & Newcastle Retail.
Steve White, Systems Manager at Scottish & Newcastle Retail, explains further: "Installing chip and PIN for the hospitality industry is complex because of the huge variety of pubs and restaurants. A one size fits all approach doesn't work as all solutions have to be individually crafted to take into consideration the environment and its customers." The company decided to trial a range of solutions including both fixed and wireless PIN pads. Scottish & Newcastle Retail worked with three software and hardware suppliers for the trial to get a range of experience.
Issues arising during the trial included the need for more static terminals than initially thought to sustain service levels and longer transaction times in some environments. Accreditation for the handhelds took longer than anticipated and could be an issue for merchants coming late to the project.
"Steve White said the trial went well and we've learnt a lot. The equipment is easy to install and we've had no real issues with our customers who seem to like it and the security benefits it offers. The trial helped us put the task for national rollout into perspective,".