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The Trial report

Read the final report on the Northampton trial in 2003 (PDF) (opens in new window)
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Training is critical

Customers will use checkout staff as the first port of call for any question they might have. The trial confirmed that training was crucial in ensuring customers had a positive shopping experience. Training should also specifically address any differing needs of disabled customers.

Training does not need to take long for each employee. Many businesses found that effective cashier and staff training could be accomplished in as little as 15 minutes per individual. Once trained, staff did not need to perform many transactions before becoming fully competent. A small, steady number of chip and PIN transactions (about three per shift in a major supermarket) was enough to get them proficient and to operate effectively at the checkout.

Some retailers found there was a tendency among a few of their staff to continue using the existing process by encouraging customers to sign. In these instances, retailers should pay particular attention to the monitoring of their chip and PIN implementation to ensure transactions are processed appropriately.

To help customers who are concerned about privacy when they enter their pin, businesses should ensure pin pad privacy shields are used and the pin pads themselves are positioned correctly. Most PIN pads are designed to be picked up by cardholders. This should be encouraged, where appropriate, to aid secure PIN entry.

Cashiers should be made aware that not all cards that have a chip require PIN entry. The terminal will determine whether PIN or signature is required and will guide the cashier and cardholder accordingly.

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