A pioneering system of paying for shopping with the touch of a finger has scooped a major industry award for The Midcounties Co-operative.
Pay By Touch, which was introduced to the UK at three Midcounties Co-op stores in Oxfordshire in March, has won the Most Effective Use of IT in Retail award at the Information Age Effective IT 2006 awards in London.
The revolutionary new payment method has been launched at supermarkets in Carterton, Headington and Summertown, which are all in the Oxford area.
The trial is set to be extended to three other Midcounties Co-op stores later this year following encouraging customer feedback.
Pay By Touch allows customers to pay by using their finger and a memorable number, so no cash or cards are required.
The Effective IT awards celebrate the best of UK IT, with winners selected for their outstanding application of information technology in the creation of business value.
An independent judging panel, made up of some of the IT industry's most senior executives, chose the winners from a record number of entries.
Ben Reid, chief executive of The Midcounties Co-operative, said: "Pay By Touch has been a superb innovation for the business and our customers, and we are delighted to have picked up such a prestigious award for its successful introduction.
"It is a quick and secure method of payment for customers, as well as enhancing our reputation as one of the most innovative retailers in the UK.
"The initial planning was started by Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-op, and following the merger with West Midlands Co-op that created The Midcounties Co-op last autumn, we continued plans to implement this exciting new technology."
A survey of 1,000 customers showed that the introduction of Pay By Touch was welcomed by 88 per cent of those questioned, with 85 per cent believing it was more convenient than Chip and Pin and 76 per cent saying it was more secure than Chip and Pin.
More than half the customers questioned said they had either registered for the system or intended to do so.
Kenny MacIver, Editor of Information Age and chair of the Effective IT judges, said: "The judges were unanimous in their enthusiasm for the Midcounties Co-op project.
"Not only did it address a clear business requirement head on, but the bold adoption of cutting-edge technology produced great results." ..SUPL: