Co-op has announced plans to launch a scan-and-go app allowing customers to checkout on their phones without visiting a till. The app has been built with Mastercard’s secure digital payments expertise. The shop, scan and go initiative is being trialled at the Co-op’s store located at the retailer’s support centre in Manchester, with a wider roll-out beginning as early as this summer, which is expected to include a further trial at the Co-op’s store located in the UK headquarters of Microsoft in Reading.
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. The innovative move, which harnesses the latest technology, allows customers to scan products on their own device as they walk around the store – a 'frictionless shopping experience'. When they have finished shopping, the amount they owe is deducted from their account with a single click.
The community retailer is seeing the number of cash transactions in its stores rapidly reduce in favour of alternative payment methods. Cash transactions have dropped by more than one fifth over the last five years, with a 15 per cent reduction in the last 18 months alone.
'It is a challenging market place 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,' says Matthew Speight, director of retail support at the Co-op. '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.'
Elliott Goldenberg, head of digital payments at Mastercard UK, adds: '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,' adds Goldenberg.