Safeway entered the chip and PIN trial early in May 2003 following a 14-month implementation programme which saw chip and PIN installed in 480 stores nationwide. The main problem Safeway experienced was in gaining the required technology approvals. "It was a new experience for us and our acquirer. I'm glad now that we're ahead of the game but at times it was tough and no-one should underestimate the time and resource needed," advises Jeremy Wyman, business systems manager at Safeway.
"We made the decision to go for a complete implementation system. We opted for a unit which gives customers full control," says Jeremy. "I saw these working in France and I was convinced the British public would take to them. The trial has gone really well. I think we sometimes underestimate our customers - they have taken to it like ducks to water."
The budget for Safeway's chip and PIN implementation was significant because of the number of stores in their chain. However, Safeway believes it will have seen a full return on its investment within 6 months.