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Cooper & Co first to launch mobile money in Channel Islands pilot

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Jersey tea and coffee merchants Cooper & Co have broken new ground in The Channel Islands by becoming the first local business to offer a method for paying at the till using a smartphone.

The service, which was launched in December, allows customers to pay for items at Cooper’s newest coffee shop by simply showing a barcode on their smartphone screen. It uses Apple’s Passbook mobile payments app, which is a feature of the most recent version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system.

The Cooper & Co till system has been upgraded to allow staff to scan customer phones to take payment, and the Cooper & Co e-commerce website (www.cooper.co.je) has been redesigned to allow customers to buy Passbook credit for use at Cooper’s Castle Quay.

Customers can use either an Apple iPhone or iPod or an Android phone with the PassWallet app installed.

David Warr, owner of Cooper & Co, says he is very excited about the innovation. “Coffee shops the world over are turning to technology to make it easy for people to pay for products and give gifts of cash. Although Cooper & Co is one of the oldest companies in Jersey, we pride ourselves on keeping ahead of customer demands, and I was very keen to take a lead in mobile payments.”

He continued, “Smartphone usage in Jersey is very high, and mobile payments are a global trend. Small retailers have to do whatever it takes to remain appealing in the face of international competition and the early take-up of our Passbook offering has already proven that mobile payments are going to really take off in the UK.”

Cooper’s Passbook service was developed by digital agency Webreality (www.webreality.co.uk). Chief Executive Matthew Robins commented, “Cooper & Co has been a long-standing client of Webreality, embracing e-commerce very early on, and we’ve always regarded David as a retail leader in Jersey. When he gave us the brief to come up with a digital loyalty scheme, we were already evaluating Apple’s Passbook ahead of its official launch. It proved the ideal platform for the Cooper & Co system. Early sales are showing a good mix of buyers gifting cash and others using the Passbook credit themselves. We see a bright future for mobile payments in the UK with Passbook.”

Passbook is only just starting to be adopted in the UK, with brands including Virgin Atlantic, Marks & Spencer and Harvester launching Passbook services in late 2012.

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