The trial of the chip and PIN system started in Northampton in May 2003 as an initial step toward national rollout. It involved re-issuing a significant number of Northampton cardholders with new chip and PIN cards. These included a representative range of people, including disabled cardholders.
It also involved upgrading point-of-sale terminals at a selection of retail outlets. A range of leading retailers took part including many well-known household names.
Northampton is representative of the demographics of the UK. It has a high proportion of people who live and shop in the same area, is of a sufficient scale for a meaningful trial and has a good representation of leading high street retailers.