British retailer the Co-op will soon unveil pay-in-aisle technology, where customers can check out purchases on their phones without the need to visit a till.
Time-pressed shoppers will be able to purchase goods at the supermarket chain through an app built in collaboration with Mastercard.
The ‘shop, scan and go’ initiative is being trialled at the Co-op’s store at the retailer’s support centre in Manchester, with a wider roll-out beginning as early as this summer.
The technology sits alongside conventional payment methods in store – such as self-service tills and manned checkouts – in order to enhance consumer choice and service. When customers have finished shopping, the amount they owe will then be deducted from their account with a single click.
With the number of cash transactions in store rapidly declining, the Co-op said it is responding to demand for alternative payment methods. It said that cash transactions “have dropped by more than one fifth over the last five years, with a 15% reduction in the last 18 months alone”.
Matthew Speight, director of retail support at the Co-op, said: “It is a challenging marketplace for retailers, and the Co-op is responding positively. Our ambition is to harness technology to deliver the shopping experience that our diverse customer base requires – when, where and how they need it.
“It is all about consumer choices and convenience. We listen to our members and customers and we are investing in our stores, people, prices, products and technology. We recognise there are many communities where customers pop in to their local Co-op and enjoy a friendly chat – it is all part of the service. Whereas for others, perhaps with a train to catch or on a school run, every second can count as consumers seek increased convenience.”
Mastercard UK head of digital payments Elliott Goldenberg added: “Technology is bringing unprecedented change to retailing right before our eyes, however the challenge for all of us who play a part in the retail experience is meeting the needs of all consumers who are moving at different speeds in the adoption of technology.
“With the Co-op we are bringing our online and mobile capability, Masterpass, into the physical store, and offering consumers who want a fast and frictionless buying experience, a secure and reliable way to pay.
“By scanning products using Co-op’s mobile app, shoppers can checkout using payment card details securely stored within Masterpass, and leave the store, with both the Co-op and them knowing they have paid.”
The technology also links information from a customer’s Co-op membership account – telling shoppers how much they have saved and how much the Co-op will donate to local good causes following the transaction.
Members receive a 5% reward when they buy own-brand products and services, with the Co-op donating a further 1% to good causes.
Earlier this year, the Co-op unveiled plans to open 100 new food stores this year, creating an estimated 1,600 jobs. It will invest over £160 million in new stores and major makeovers for a further 150 of its outlets.
© FoodBev Media Ltd 2018