Post Office eyes retail network milestone
The number of Post Offices operating seven days a week will hit the 3,000 mark this weekend, as a Bergh Apton branch (set in Green Pastures, a garden centre, farm shop and restaurant) opens its doors. This takes the Post Office closer to its goal of being the UK’s largest retail network trading seven days a week, which it expects to reach within the next year. It's the biggest modernisation programme in its history, involving the transformation of more than 8,000 branches into new look retail outlets and also investing in more than 3,000 community branches, often the last shop in the village.
Brace yourselves for Black Friday 2015
Black Friday 2015 (27 November) will lead to the UK’s first £1 billion online shopping day. That's according to digital commerce consultancy Salmon, who are also encouraging retailers to prepare from back-end to front-end. Whilst focus has often been centred on the strain on logistics, the surge in demand will create pressure on everything from website performance to ordering systems. To combat this, Salmon has created ‘The Black Friday and Peak Trading Ecommerce Operations Playbook.
Cash hangs in there as contactless wins fans
Forty three per cent of Brits see contactless payments as the future, whilst a quarter think that in five years’ time they will no longer need cash to pay for goods or services. This rises to 39 per cent of people in ten years’ time, and 48 per cent 20 years from now. According to new Lloyds Bank research, involving 2,070 bank account holders, 63 per cent of those surveyed will still be using credit and debit cards (63 per cent) as well as cash (52 per cent) on a day-to-day basis by 2025. This is followed closely by contactless payments with 48 per cent expecting to use it on a daily basis in the next decade. In addition, 27 per cent will make payments using wearable tech such as watches or wrist bands in ten years time, one in five will be regularly using their fingerprint, and seven per cent believe they will make payments using a microchip embedded in their body by 2025. Nine per cent of those aged over 45 plan to still be paying by cheque in 2025 compared to just four per cent of 18 to 44 year olds.
Milestone for Facebook
For the first time ever, one billion people have used Facebook in a single day, according to company founder Mark Zuckerberg. In a post on the social media site, he said: "On Monday, one in seven people on Earth used Facebook to connect with their friends and family. When we talk about our financials, we use average numbers, but this is different. This was the first time we reached this milestone, and it's just the beginning of connecting the whole world."
Ad watchdog raps Morrisons over price pledge
Morrisons has run into trouble over its Match & More loyalty card scheme, which promises to match the prices of Sainsbury's, Asda, Tesco, Aldi and Lidl. Following a complaint by the former as well as customers, the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ordered Morrisons to clarify the way it compares prices with other supermarkets under the initiative, launched under ousted boss Dalton Philips and criticised as too complex by analysts. It means it will now have to give details of the products and prices being compared and how points are gained from the loyalty scheme are calculated.
SumUp gets funding boost
mPOS venture SumUp has announced a €10 million injection by investors including BBVA Ventures, Groupon and American Express. This takes its funding so far to €50 million, and follows the recent investment by Swiss venture capital firm Venture Incubator. SumUp plans to use the cash to launch in two more countries this year, increasing its country footprint to 15 and covering three continents.
It will also roll out the new contactless generation of its end-to-end payment platform, and develop new services.
Still waiting on Android Pay
Android Pay, Google’s rival to Apple Pay, is not arriving this week, contrary to the message put out by various online reports and leaks from participating merchants. An internal memo from McDonald’s, for instance, suggested Android Pay would roll-out in the US on 26 August, contradicting Google claims that it would launch on Android Marshmallow later this year.
Payments UK shares its vision
Payments UK has published an initial report on its World Class Payments project, setting out its vision of how payments in the UK can continue to be world class. This is expected to help inform the newly formed Payments Strategy Forum, set up by the Payment Systems Regulator, when setting strategic priorities. The trade association has highlighted four features it believes should be prioritised:
iVend Retail has announced the appointment of Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) ex-head of technology, Raouf Balabaki, as its European channel services director, and Simon Bohr, previously of Molton Brown, as technical director
Mobile commerce outfit Proxama has confirmed that John Kennedy will be interim CEO, alongside his role as CFO
This week's retail tech news in a nutshell
A lighthearted recap of the stand out news stories from the past five days
Michelle Stevens talks to David Beer from Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions about retailer payment systems
Deputy Editor Michelle Stevens highlights the upcoming Payments Conference hosted by Retail Systems and FStech