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I love PIN

Planning your time

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.

Safeway: the timetable

  • Project started in September 2001, with software development
  • Hardware selection in April 2002
  • Solution testing in July 2002
  • Pilot store August 2002, hardware roll-out starts
  • Software roll-out started October 2002
  • Hardware roll-out completed November 2002
  • Acquirer approval for chip and PIN started February 2003
  • PIN enabled in April 2003
  • Entered public trial in May 2003. By July more than 40% of chip card transactions in the Northampton store were chip and PIN.