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Waitrose rolls out m-payments trials at its new state-of-the-art Swindon store

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Waitrose is trialling a number of payment-related apps for in-store use at its new Swindon store as the retailer community gears up for the big push expected across banks, retail and merchants to get m-payments working in the field in the second half of 2014

One demo application at Waitrose enables shoppers to place their order at its in-store juice bar before they arrive in store using PayPal and QikServe technology. Once the order has been placed and paid for via the shopper’s own device, a message visible from an in-store iPad shows a picture of the shopper so that staff recognise them on arrival and can hand over their order with a smile. The transaction can then be shared via social media. It’s one of a series of in-store trials that sees Waitrose test out different payment technologies, says its IT director Cheryl Millington.

The store is also using mobile technology to ease the customer’s journey round the store. This demo app being trialled internally uses the Quick Check technology that has powered scan-and-shop purchasing in Waitrose stores over the last decade. The app enables a customer journey that starts at home, where customers can scan the products they already have, using a barcode scanning app, to create a shopping list. On arrival at the store, beacon technology recognises and serves each customer relevant offers as they walk around the store.

There they can also use their smartphone as a Quick Check handset, scanning items to check information – including ratings and reviews – on the products they see, clicking to add them to their basket.

When products are added to the basket, they are automatically crossed off the customer’s shopping list.

“Quick Check scans it, puts it in the basket for you to pay later,” says Millington.” When they’ve finished, the shopper can pays for their order at the checkout or complete the transaction on their phone, using PayPal, or other payment methods. Completion of payment generates an end-of-shop barcode that can be presented when someone leaves the store for a rescan, if required as part of random basket checks.

Other in-store transactions, such as meals and snacks at in-store grazing bars, are processed on tablet computers by sales staff. “We’ve rolled out over 4,000 devices to partners who are in branches because we think it’s really important to provide them with the information they need at their fingertips,” says Millington. “There are also devices in grazing, front-of-store, areas where customers will browse to either buy or look at content.”
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