The Logic Group Blog

Welcome to The Logic Group Blog, where our experts will share their views on customer interaction and give you their take on the industry developments affecting you today.
I've spent the last few weeks getting used to our new office. It's bigger, better and has the Barclaycard logo proudly looking back at me on every wall. Our new offices represent how we're truly becoming one organisation, with the right people and teams sitting next to each other, working together every day. So how do you celebrate the start of a new journey?
August 1, 2016

The Logic Group: world’s first PCI-accredited company for P2PE versions one and two. Double First Puts The Logic Group Top of the P2PE Class.
June 27, 2016

The third in this series of Blogs on online payments is all about how to make sure your online retail business offer a safe and reliable customer experience. Read on, and don't forget to sign up to the webinar next week on online payments! 1. Comply! Comply! Comply! Keeping pace with PCI DSS is one of the most important things you can do, yet it’s something that the customer will never know about. This is a worldwide security standard for everyone processing payments, regardless of size. If you mishandle data
June 2, 2016

My first Blog on 'The Trials and Tribulations of an Online Retailer' talked around the subject of the exponential growth in online sales. We’re now moving on to someone who is essential to ensuring the online journey happens smoothly and that is the eCommerce Manager. My second Blog therefore shows how integral this role is to ensuring your customers enjoy their online experience with you and keep coming back. I welcome any comments you'd like to make!
May 19, 2016

Whilst shopping online is growing at exponential rates (interestingly Verdict Retail says that online payments will reach the dizzy heights of £62.7bn!) it comes with some downsides for both consumers and online retailers. In the physical world we are getting very comfortable with using our plastic or phone to tap to pay and we expect the same trustworthy, quick and easy experience when shopping online. If you are an online retailer offering your customers a fantastic experience in your virtual store what happens when they get to payment? The experience should be a good one so your customer checks out easily, trusts that their payment will be handled securely and wants to come back. No abandoned baskets for you! Happy days.
May 12, 2016

Your customer data (email addresses, transaction history and such like) is a bit like having a pet cobra: treat it well and you have a really cool pet that makes for great smoasting. But if you don’t look after it you’re likely to become a funny/tragic news story in a Wednesday edition of a popular tabloid. Well, not exactly but both can come back to bite you and cost you an arm and a leg.
May 9, 2016

A big year all round, and this is really only the tip of the iceberg. How will 2016 live up in terms of momentum? Luckily, The Logic Group boasts an enviable amount of experience and expertise in this area so we asked members of our team from across the business to find out what exactly might be in store. It’s fair to say things don’t look like letting up anytime soon…
January 6, 2016

Almost a year on from The Logic Group’s acquisition by Barclaycard, the two companies took the opportunity to host an event for our existing customers that would provide some insight into why we’ve joined forces, our experiences thus far and our strategy for the coming year. It also presented the opportunity for some fantastic speakers.
December 16, 2015

The popularity of Black Friday this year has been a brilliant success for our retail partners. Helping so many of our client’s process record-breaking transactions, and in the process building loyalty among so many customers, is something that truly endorses our technology. It does not stop here though, retailers must continue to provide a seamless experience across the Christmas period before they can toast their successes.
December 9, 2015

Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) compliance isn’t just another service that we offer our customers, it is a challenge we have actively taken on, with the aim of providing best-in-class accreditation. Find out more about what the latest level of certification means for our clients.
September 9, 2015

Summer is nearly here and that means for many a new wardrobe. Warmer days are here, as too are the summer holidays, meaning it’s time to pull out our summer wardrobe and even build it out with a few shopping trips from the season’s collections. Susan explores how retailers react to seasonal shopping trends and what experiences todays consumers expect.
June 8, 2015

There has been a great deal of focus and excitement around; mobile payments, digital wallets, social media payments and biometrics and how they will revolutionise how we pay. While the future is very exciting, it is important to remember how anything is only as strong as the foundations it’s built on. In the case of payments, this is tokenisation.
March 23, 2015

Not too long ago, I took a good look at Apple’s entry into the mobile wallets/payments market, Apple Pay, and I concluded at the time that it would be a game-changer. A couple of months on, I haven’t changed my mind. Why? Because I think mobile payments aren’t the future anymore; they’re the present – out there today and over time increasingly changing the way we shop. But if they are ‘the now’ already, what is next?...
January 19, 2015

Providing a trusted payment service that supports all of the engagements that you are having with your customers (around the clock and across the channels) is what you expect from us. We strive to deliver this, in order to allow you to spend your time focusing on other business priorities
December 17, 2014

Apple Pay (and similar services) will revolutionise the way we shop, particularly with High Value Contactless (HVC) payments getting closer. UK consumers have really embraced contactless payments already, but the combination of convenience and security offered by HVC is the next evolutionary step for the high-street and will turn even more nay-sayers into mobile payment converts.
December 16, 2014

Over the last week, Apple’s latest product launch has had a mixed reaction. But personally I was not disappointed. My prediction that Apple would finally incorporate NFC into the iPhone 6 and support their own digital wallet was right.

I suppose for me the core question, pardon the pun is: why has Apple opted to only launch Apple Pay in the U.S. in October 2014?
September 15, 2014

The 9th of September. That’s the date Apple will unleash its latest and greatest iPhone on an expecting world. The first iPhone set the scene for a sea change in personal computing in 2007, proving to be the catalyst for smart phones and apps going mainstream. Ever since, just about every tech blogger has spent the build up to each Apple event guessing what new features will be included and how this will again move the mobile world forward.

If all goes to plan – and it seems the industry is willing it to – we could be paying for our iPhone 7s in September 2015 with your iPhone 6s.
September 1, 2014

Sting has had quite the celebrated career. He resides in the Rock Hall of Fame, has won Grammy Awards, Ivor Novellos and American Music Awards. If that wasn’t enough, his song ‘Every Breath You Take’ is the most requested song of all time by radio listeners. Yet, amongst the hoard of accolades in his trophy cabinet there is one achievement that not many people would be aware of. His album ‘Ten Summoner’s Tales’ was the first secure online purchase and last week we celebrated the 20th anniversary of this purchase. The next 20 years are going to be exciting for retail. So, what can we expect in the coming years?
August 20, 2014

P2PE solutions are a great option for retailers looking to minimise costs but only when implemented correctly. If your solution isn’t PCI-validated, you’re not just missing out on savings; you’re potentially exposing yourself to additional costs. If you want to learn about how a comprehensive P2PE offering can save you the time and money, ensuring you can focus on delivering great products and experiences to your customers, speak to The Logic Group.
July 21, 2014

So the World Cup is almost done and dusted for another four years. I have not seen the figures for the sales of soccer “plush” over the last month, but the predictions suggested that there would be little enthusiasm for a branded shirt costing between £50 and £60. The forecasted average spend was £16 per head and the prediction was that the average English fan would spend £20 for a branded shirt. We will have to wait to see what the actual spend rates are. But I suspect that it will be the English team’s performance, more than anything else that will have supressed the sale of shirts!

Recent figures from UK Card Payments show that we are spending more, as a nation, than twelve months ago. 6.7% up on 2012 and three out of every four pounds spent in shops today is using a payment card according to the UK Card Association.

July 9, 2014

Retailers have good reason to be concerned that their business systems are becoming the focus of cyber-criminal community efforts. Retailers face a greater challenge than most organisations in that they have a number of significant issues to overcome. Benj Hosack, Director at our partner Foregenix talks about some of the main challenges for retailers.
June 24, 2014

There has been an increased buzz in the world of contactless mobile payments over the past few months. Visa, Mastercard and Google have announced support for Host Card Emulation (HCE), marking a potential turning point for NFC-enabled mobile wallets. But how will these announcements effect retailers and what will the payments and loyalty landscape look like moving forward as a result?
June 5, 2014

Becoming PCI DSS compliant and securing customers’ details is a complex undertaking. Few suppliers have a certified P2PE solution today. However, The Logic Group was the first company worldwide to achieve the validation of its P2PE application by the PCI Council. The Logic Group is a leader in security and secure payment solutions and P2PE is a focus area where we are forging ahead with serious investment to help protect retailers and shoppers alike. Read on to see our list of things retailers should know about P2PE.
June 3, 2014

Our clients tell us that a strong, joined up strategy, providing a consistency of brand across multiple shopping channels, is the critical success factor. It is important to recognise the shopper at different points in the single shopping journey. Providing the trusted environment, the choice of channel and the personalised interactions that surprise and delight the shopper are business priorities for the retailer. Each interactions provides an opportunity for the retailer to build and develop the relationship with the individual shopper and, therefore, to influence and enhance the experience for the next time.
May 19, 2014

All brands acknowledge that they need to be more agile in order to succeed in today’s consumer-driven environment. Whether you are in the retail, financial services, travel, leisure or hospitality sectors, your customers expect their interactions with your brand to be more rewarding experiences. For every engagement a customer has with your business, how are you incentivising them to return?
May 15, 2014

At The Logic Group our clients and our partners help us to stay ahead of important developments in the market. It is an exciting time with a lot of change taking place. The power of the consumer is growing and new innovative technologies are driving and supporting these changes.

Our clients tell us that their customers are demanding the ability to make payments any hour of the day, every day of the week and every week of the year. Consumers want to be able to make their payment wherever they are and they want to know that this interaction, with a chosen retailer, is a safe and secure one. Read on to see the different future that we see.

May 8, 2014

When it comes to protecting our hard-won cash, we are all naturally cautious. We’re loath to trust new methods and technologies of making payments or managing our money. With the recent launch of mobile-to-mobile payment platform Paym, Jon Banks looks at the challenges and success ahead for Paym to revolutionise the world of mobile payments.
May 1, 2014

As this year’s MWC demonstrated, 2014 and beyond will be an exciting time for retailers. The mobile wallet offers retailers and consumers alike huge possibilities when it comes to digitalising the shopping experience and rejuvenating the high street. For retailers in particular, the reality of a mobile wallet could transform how they proactively engage and serve customers, ahead of an actual purchase taking place (and equally importantly post purchase). The mobile wallet is moving from an idea to become a very real part of the multichannel offering.
March 7, 2014

Visa and MasterCard recently made an announcement that caused ripples of excitement across the payments industry. Support from both companies of Host Card Emulation (HCE)as a solution for mobile NFC payments marks a significant step change that could turn mobile payments into a mainstream payment solution sooner than expected.
March 3, 2014

What will the high street look like in the future? Like any good ecosystem, this future high street will grow when all the component entities connect. Physical, online and mobile stores are interwoven to create a seamless shopping experience, can only be achieved through the collaboration of a multitude of partners. This must include retailers, payments providers, mobile network operators, handset vendors, banks, wallet providers and so on. The GSMA’s 'Connected City', running at Mobile World Congress this year, will bring such a vision to life. The Logic Group, alongside partners including Proxama, Aimia, Escher Group, Verifone, Deutsche Telecom and Gemalto, will be illustrating a number of prototypes to demonstrate how stakeholder collaboration can deliver an interoperable, end-to-end mCommerce experience – not in the distant future but today.
February 21, 2014

The topic of payments is one that will likely dominate the agenda for retailers in 2014. Consumers have a wide variety of payment choices now at their disposal including cash, cards, contactless, e-wallets and m-wallets. With so many channels now available, retailers are quickly realising the importance of providing the best possible customer experience across a multitude of channels, to create satisfied and loyal consumers. It will be the retailers that make the customer experience a core part of their payments strategy that will be the winners throughout 2014 and into 2015.
February 14, 2014

Christmas 2013 sales figures are now in, and have clearly illustrated the key factors that will define retail success in 2014. While a number of retailers posted positive trading figures including John Lewis, House of Fraser and Next, many others struggled. Retailers were caught off-guard with shoppers either holding out until the last minute to complete their Christmas shop, or simply preferring online over in-store. As a result, some retailers resorted to early sales and discounts in a not-so-lucrative bid to attract consumers to the high street.
January 31, 2014

Mobile devices (in particular smartphones) and Mobile Point of Sale (MPoS) are increasingly at the centre the retail data debate. Recently, mobile devices again came to the fore, when the PCI Council published version 3.0 of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and related Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS) – and, Bob Russo (General Manager of the PCI SSC) openly proclaimed that mobile devices at the point-of-sale were not secure and compliant, today.

On this journey of retail evolution, with the expectation of a multitude of customer touch points, retailers and merchants should seek to partner with technology and service providers who can demonstrate a clear line of sight on how best to integrate these new technologies, while at the same time maintaining the highest security possible.

January 21, 2014

Whilst many retailers in the UK have had a tough run in 2013, there have been some great success stories where retailers have improved their multichannel customer interactions. However, as demonstrated by other large retailers after the Christmas period, the high street landscape continues to be masked with an uncertain future, with many retailers fighting to cater to consumers who are evolving how they shop; both in-store and online. What will really drive the retail technology evolution in 2014?
January 9, 2014

On the 7th November, the Payments Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC) published version 3.0 of the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) and related Payment Application Data Security Standard (PA-DSS). With an increased focus on education, awareness and security as a shared responsibility, the new standards aim to help merchants make payment security part of their ‘business as usual’ activities. Whilst the amount of effort and time required to transition to 3.0 will depend on the context of the organisation, many may not have significant changes to make to adhere to the new standards, others will have their work cut out. Are you ready to adapt to these changes?
November 25, 2013

Together with our partner ReD, a global fraud prevention specialist, we work with merchants around the world to protect their online businesses - day in, day out. We asked ReD for their thoughts on how merchants can prepare for the busy Christmas and New Year holiday season and they came up with this useful checklist.
November 22, 2013

Despite enthusiastic take up among some consumers, the use of mobile technologies in the retail space is still very much nascent. And although the future looks promising – The Logic Group research indicates healthy increases in the use of mobile technologies looking forward – companies need to remember to progress at a pace that consumers are comfortable with. There are two strands to ensuring successful roll out of mobile technologies - read more.
November 19, 2013

Today's consumers are increasingly using mobile devices, whether it’s a tablet or a hand held to browse products, read reviews, and make purchases both at home and on the move. Although it has been a long time in the making, contactless payments (card and mobile/NFC) appear to be gathering traction in the financial service and retail sectors. In a recent article in Techworld, Visa highlights that contactless payments have increased by 500% over the last 12 months, accounting for 51 million consumer payments in the UK. Furthermore, research on the mobile consumer – conducted by Ipsos MORI – shows that frequent mobile users are capitalising on the new technology to make their retail journeys easier and more efficient.
September 13, 2013

The British Retail Consortium July figures gave some cause for celebration across the UK last week. According to the findings, the total value of retail sales was 3.9 percent higher in July than comparable figures in 2012. This amounts to almost double the growth seen in July last year and is being hailed as the best July performance since 2006.
August 14, 2013

We had the opportunity to join our partners, Weve and Proxama on stage at the GSMA Energising the Mobile High Street: Retail Proposition event in London. The event offered the opportunity to discuss a number of topics surrounding consumer engagement, including how mobile can support the digital high street, improve footfall and how utilising mobile technology will engage consumers and town centre visitors.
August 6, 2013

Contactless payment cards for small daily transactions have become a welcome relief. These new payment methods are becoming increasingly popular. Change is afoot with many consumers already driving the transformation. However, to reach the consumers that remain reticent of new payment methods, retailers must continue to build a relationship of trust in order to have a strong foundation for new technologies moving forward.
August 5, 2013

With the increasing speed of technology developments we often forget the impact on the retail ecosystem, whether you are a consumer or retailer. Over the past 18 months we have witnessed the erosion of our high streets as consumers have migrated to e-retailers in a bid to beat the economic downturn. However, the high street is fighting back to provide consumers new payment technologies which deliver a hybrid retail experience, such as click and collect, contactless payments and mobile wallet acceptance.
June 26, 2013

“The death of the high street” has been bandied about over the last eighteen months, and clearly makes for good headlines. So, it was no surprise to see the Centre for Retail Research make headlines (yet again!) with a research that claimed ‘one in five of Britain's high street shops could close by 2018 as more customers turn to the internet for their shopping’. The internet, especially mobile internet, is a driving force that is necessitating a business model rethink for some of the most established multinationals (!) – the message is clear: Innovate and adapt, or perish.

As a payment service provider and a customer interaction, loyalty and insight specialist, here are some ideas to help retailers fight back – bolster your high street presence.

June 18, 2013

The latest British retail figures from the ONS emerged recently for April, and for many retailers already feeling the strain on the high-street, they did not come as welcome news. Retail sales suffered their biggest drop in a year, blamed in part by the unusually cold weather in April and restricted household budgets, as consumers continue to feel the squeeze. Read the full blog article...
May 30, 2013

You may have seen our post last year on Apple snubbing NFC (near field communications) technology in its iPhone 5. This year, reports suggest that Apple is including NFC capabilities in its new iPhone design. This further fuels the speculation it will add payments to its Passbook allowing customers to pay, receive offers and collect loyalty points through their mobile device.


The Integrated Retailer recently published an article suggesting NFC-enabled mobile devices will exceed 500 million by the end of next year. It seems the retail industry and its ancillary services are looking at NFC as a serious game changer in customer interactions, from point of sale, up and cross selling, providing customer offers and collecting insightful customer data.


We recently announced our partnership with Proxama to provide in-store coupons and vouchers via NFC-enabled posters that consumers can tap their phone to and redeem at the checkout. The partnership also allows us to create NFC enabled retailer apps that send offers directly to customer devices that are in range and have the store’s app installed. These services can be integrated into a mobile wallet to provide a holistic approach to customer interactions through one device.


The challenge for retailers now is to break down the risk perception consumers have towards NFC technology and using mobile wallets. However, we can see that this is the case throughout history, the most recent being chip and PIN services replacing signatures in payment card transactions, or online banking. People may think it is less secure or more risky than the legacy method, but once it is adopted these worries are forgotten.


The retail industry as a whole must now work to educate consumers about the simplicity of using NFC technology and mobile wallets to dispel any misconceptions customers may have on data security, privacy or ‘spamming’. By illustrating that a mobile wallet will be kept as safe as loyalty card data, online banking data and that offers will be tailored to the customer or be ‘opt-in’, we may alleviate some of these worries and drive NFC adoption amongst end users.

April 18, 2013

It’s unimaginable to envisage a supermarket with no customers, no check outs – manned or unmanned, gondola ends with tons of offers, and even the smell of freshly baked bread. But actually, Tesco has five and walk-in customers aren’t welcome. They’re not on the high street or even on retail parks. That’s because they are ‘dark stores’. They exist to serve the ever-growing needs for online shopping.

It’s ironic really: Tesco opened its latest ‘dark store’ in January and it created 700 jobs. In contrast, BlockBuster and HMV were slow to respond to the fast moving Internet-enabled business model, leading them into the red.

Technology has rapidly changed the high street...

February 20, 2013

December retail sales have disappointed. British music industry loses the high street presence of HMV. Another few bite the dust. Britain gets a chilly welcome to 2013...

If you still need more evidence that the Internet has necessitated a rethink of customer engagement strategies, then you may as well shut shop and protect the few assets and cash-in-hand available to you. The onset of the Great Reinvention (as we’d like to refer to the economic depression that started in 2008), marked the beginnings of the evolutionary process that would be driven by the Internet and the shift to online business and shopping. To feign ignorance to the fact that we’re through the evolution phase (of four years) and are now stood at the chasm, would demonstrate poor judgement and a clear lack of understanding of the stark reality that faces us.
January 24, 2013

2012 has been a tough year for the high street, with retailers struggling to drive sales and many high street stores shutting their doors permanently. By contrast, the online high street saw resilient growth. In fact, the latest figures of the annual IMRG e-Retail Sales Index have revealed that online sales in November are up 18 per cent from last year, as the festive rush has encouraged consumers to reach into their digital pockets. So, 2012 was a year of “Bricks vs. Clicks”, but what will drive retail in 2013?

Here are some of my thoughts for starters, or perhaps predictions for 2013.
December 24, 2012

There has been a lot of momentum behind mobile payments, NFC-enabled PoS terminals and wallet services in 2012. Technology providers, retailers and merchants, as well as payment service providers are now quite openly supporting the case for multichannel customer experience management. Consumers too have shown some appetite for mobile payments and NFC-enabled cards, although they appear to have even bigger willingness to shop online.

However, for consumers to readily adopt and widely embrace the new technology-enabled payment and interaction experience, the retailer, merchant, technology and payment provider ecosystem needs to understand consumer expectations from multichannel customer interaction systems and instil the confidence to trust new payment technologies to protect their identity credentials in any environment.
December 21, 2012

In 2012, many media and analyst reports pronounced the high street dead with a new “death of the high street” story seeming to appear every week. Well known brands such as Comet, La Senza and Clinton Cards going into administration, coupled with the recent news that two in three high street stores started their sales two weeks before Christmas suggests that bricks and mortar stores have struggled in 2012.

This doesn’t mean people are no longer buying though, with statistics showing that more people are shopping online and that, at an average spend of over £1,000 per head, the British are the biggest online shoppers in any major country. However, if we drill down deeper behind these figures, it appears that online spend only accounts for 13 per cent total retail sales [3], which begs the question is the high street really dead?
December 20, 2012

A couple of days ago I logged on to my computer to read that VeriFone had pulled their mobile payments device 'Sail' out of the market after an eight month battle with Square. The reason VeriFone's CEO, Doug Bergeron, gave for this was that the micro-merchant space is 'fundamentally unprofitable'?

Post this announcement, there have been a number of articles questioning if VeriFone's exit should worry Square. Personally I think the answer to this question is yes, but not necessarily for the obvious reasons.
December 20, 2012

Over 50% of adults in the UK [1] already have contactless credit/debit cards, yet how many of them know what they have in their pockets? And how many would be willing to use contactless payment cards, even in an existing enabled environment? A survey from Which showed that only 54% of 158 Londoners surveyed would be willing to use contactless cards as opposed to Oyster cards, even if it gave them the same benefits [2]. Combine that with the fact that many people feel they are not protected in case of fraudulent use, and one could be forgiven for thinking that contactless cards stand no chance. Is this just a case of lack of consumer awareness and trust?
December 19, 2012

It's been a grim couple of years for the high street with an estimated 30 chain stores closing daily [1]. A recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers report suggests that, over the last 12 months, major retailers in the UK have closed close to 1,000 stores; caused by a combination of the recession and the growth of the internet shopping (compared to 174 in 2011). With many big names such as Comet, Game and Clinton Cards feeling the strain, the Government recently pulled together a think tank to come up with a solution to the demise of the high street. But, perhaps the rebirth of the high street is possible with the reinvention of retailing through an old foe (the internet), as we see a blurring of the real world and virtual worlds with mobile-commerce.
December 5, 2012

The Logic Group were delighted to exhibit and speak at the first Mobile Wallet Summit Europe, on 28th and 29th November 2012.

Solutions Marketing Manager, Mark Prior-Egerton gives a summary of the key highlights from the day, and his thoughts and vision around the convergence of payment and loyalty solutions, and the role mobile will play in this.
December 4, 2012

“Black Friday” lasted a whole weekend and was the perfect time to do my online shopping. I would say that buying online is definitely the preferred choice of this blogger, however the experience was a little “flaky” and I wonder how it could be improved?
November 28, 2012

On Monday (12th November) I was alerted by a colleague to a You Tube video going viral; if you haven’t seen it already it’s titled ‘The Risk inside your credit card’ and suggests that fraudsters can electronically pick pocket your contactless cards - so it’s not surprising it’s had over 5.5 million hits.

The video stipulates that armed with a contactless card reader, fraudsters can gather sufficient card information to clone the card and use it at retailers to make purchases, which isn’t that compelling until the video shows it being done.

November 16, 2012

PA-DSS (Payment Application Data Security Standard) is the standard put in place by the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council (PCI SSC), to limit the risk of data breaches in payment applications involved with cardholder data.

The standard itself originates from the PABP (Payment Application Best Practice) set out by Visa in 2005 [1] to advise vendors of best practice around the storage and transmission of data in payment applications, and helps with compliance to PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard).

November 14, 2012

The Logic Group was delighted to attend and present at the second FStech/Retail Systems Payments Technology Conference last week. Bringing together leading figures from retail and financial services, the event showcased the latest developments, services and products in trending areas such as contactless cards, payment security, online payments, the future of cash, and social payments.

Jonathon Solomons, Solution Partner Manager at The Logic Group summarises the key messages.

November 9, 2012

The iPhone 5 went on sale on Friday but there was something missing that many in retail and the payments space thought was guaranteed – NFC. When the launch was announced the week before, the exclusion of NFC was somewhat surprising. It was thought that on the back of Apple unveiling Passbook (a service that pulls together loyalty cards, tickets and coupons) in June, embedding NFC would be the next natural step to complete their mobile wallet offering. Mobile wallets bring together credit and debit cards, bank accounts, loyalty cards, rewards and coupons in one place, letting shoppers pay for purchases online and in physical stores too.

September 24, 2012

NFC-enabled mobile payments only scratch the surface in terms of the services mobile technology can offer to retailers. For the true value to be recognised, businesses need to understand that it isn’t in the ability to just offer a payment service – it is in the customer interaction opportunities it creates.


Focusing on the mobile wallet from a pure payments perspective massively undervalues the impact mobiles can have. It could be said that tapping a phone is as useful as tapping a card, and as such, there’s no real benefit to the customer. However, if a consumer is tapping a phone for payment and simultaneously providing loyalty details and/or redeeming a money-off voucher, while using it to get additional in-store services, it is a bigger incentive for customers and retailers alike.


August 23, 2012

Two news stories this week have really made the retail sector in the UK stand up and take notice. The first is Tesco’s introduction of an “interactive virtual grocery store” at London’s Gatwick airport, the first seen in the UK. Meanwhile, over in the US, Starbucks has announced a deal with Square, the company behind the same-named card payment reader, which will see Starbucks invest $25 million and switch its processing of debit and credit card payments to mobile payments.


August 10, 2012

Irrational Fears
Have you ever had an irrational fear?  I've had quite a few in my time, but today I'll confess to one involving car windows.  When I had older cars with manually operated windows I had a phobia of cars with electric windows.  My fear was that if I drove one of these new-fangled electric windows cars, I'd have an accident on a bridge or along a body of water, my car would break through the safety barriers and would plunge into the dark icy waters.  I'd try in vain to open the door, but deformation from the crash would make that impossible.  The waters would flood the car electrics also stopping the electric windows from functioning.  So, as I sit in the rapidly filling car I would curse the day I stopped using cars with manual windows.  You'll be pleased to know that I did get over my irrational fear it's now over 5 years since I began using cars with electric windows and I'm still here.


It's security stupid

When I look at the recent hoo-ha surrounding the security vulnerabilities discovered in Google Wallet it makes me think that others might too be suffering from an irrational fear.

March 8, 2012

Brussel Sprouts, hated them. These evil little green things just wanted to ruin a perfectly good dinner. After the joy of Christmas morning, playing with toys (I am talking about my childhood here, and yes, I can still remember it) and finally getting the “GET TO THE TABLE” call. Crackers pulled, reading the jokes (yes, still the basis of my humour till today) and putting on funny hats – laughing with grandparents. And then dinner is served, and it’s like the uber Sunday lunch! Added extras, cocktail sausages with bacon wrapped round (they weren’t called pigs in blankets back then!) – what genius came up with that? Freshly made stuffing and gravy, the turkey (we did have goose a few times) lots of roasties, good old veggies, and then, there it would be, the sprout. Now I never cheated per se, I was a good boy (at this time) and always did what my Mum told me to. So I would eat the sprouts, but only by dissecting them into the smallest possible size, and then trying to disguise the foul taste with a forkful of nice, tasty food.

December 6, 2011

Any of you heard of Bitcoins?  This relatively new method of online payment has really exploded onto the world stage during 2011, thus I thought it was worth looking into what all the fuss is about.


Bitcoins are one of a number of digital P2P payment methods whose aim is to recreate cash for the digital age.  Bitcoin refers to three things:
1) The decentralized, peer-to-peer network that carries the transactions
2) The digital currency itself that users exchange over the above-mentioned network
3) The client software which users use to access the network and carry out transactions

November 14, 2011

Don’t you just hate it when you are rushing around town trying to do some last minute shopping when out of nowhere you are corralled by one or more young people dressed in colourful t-shirts, holding clipboards and eager to help you save the world by relieving you of some of your money.  Some refer to them as chuggers (i.e. Charity Muggers).  Whilst a tad harsh, this nickname does underline how unpopular this method of collection has become to parts of our society.  The issue is probably one of frequency – there seem to be so many that sometimes I feel like I’m tripping over them on my way to the shops.

November 8, 2011

I am always weary of consumer surveys, and this week I have seen countless examples of how the questions can be worded in favour of a desired outcome!  The latest was looking at the security of the mobile as a payment vehicle, and just under half showed that “lack of security” as a concern.


As an example of “leading a witness”, compare the following sets of questions, and decide if they take you to a different answer:

  • Are you worried about the personal impact of payment fraud on your life?
  • Do you think that more should be done to secure your payment information?
  • Would you be concerned about all your payment details being sent over the air, and stored in your phone?
  • Have you thought what you would do if you lost your phone containing all this sensitive information?
  • Do you think that the lack of security is too big a risk to using your phone to make a payment?



  • Were you aware that payment fraud has decreased over the last year?
  • Do you think that this was due to all the improved security measures?
  • Would you be keen on maintaining the level of security, yet making payment faster and more convenient?
  • Would you like to securely transfer your card details over the air so that you only have to carry your phone with you?
  • Would you be in favour of improving the payment experience through use of your mobile phone?


This is a poor imitation on a “Yes Prime Minister” sketch from 1986 (regarding conscription), but looks to highlight how a survey can lead to a differing conclusion on the same question.  I am not suggesting that this was the case with the mobile survey, but it always makes me think twice about the results.

October 31, 2011

I was recently sent a viral video of a baby who's used an iPad to such an extent, that she tried to use the same tablet UI gestures (swiping, clicking and pinch-zooming) when given a real (i.e. dead tree) magazine.


What struck me was how the video appeared to polarize opinion between the people who chastised the parents for 'ruining their child's future' and those who hailed this as a watershed moment in human evolution.


As with many things in life, I try to take the middle ground.

October 20, 2011

Recently I received an email offer from a retailer, 3 for 2 off reptile food…”wow” I thought, as I have a parrot, rabbit and 2 dogs but definitely no reptile. Did they know something I didn’t about me?


Another simple case of mass marketing and a spray and pray attitude that not only dilutes the campaign but has completely missed a great chance to engage with a customer. It got me thinking…how often does this occur and am I getting the same offer as the person next door? Does this organisation really value my business and me as a customer? On the flip side, what actually does the reptile enthusiast get and buy regularly from this retailer? The answer to the latter is a reduced price off his purchase that they would have likely bought anyway, the consumer is happy but the retailer has diluted their campaign and given away profit due to an indifferent approach to consumer focused marketing and customer loyalty.

October 14, 2011

Well they have arrived. After more than a year of discussion and debate the new requirements for Point to Point Encryption (P2PE) have finally been released by the PCI SSC.


These requirements, which are contained in the Point to Point Encryption: Encryption, Decryption and Key Management within Secure Cryptographic Devices (Hardware/Hardware) v1.0, were released this month and define how a payment solution provider may validate its P2PE solution thereby allowing merchants to reduce the scope of their PCI DSS assessments when using the solution.

October 11, 2011

I am looking for a new wallet. It must be leather, bi-fold, and have a space for notes...I abandoned carting around loose change a while ago! I have been wondering if in five years, or may be ten years the wallet as we know it will still exist! I only use my wallet to carry payment card, one or two loyalty cards, and a note or two just incase I have the misfortune to find somewhere that does not accept cards.


I am a big advocate of contactless payments. It makes life simple, and has meant that I no longer have to weigh my pockets down with coins. Working in the card payments industry, I of course always try to use a card over cash, and this has changed my requirements for my new wallet without a coin pocket.

August 19, 2011

We recently hosted a webinar on Mobile Payments (you can register to view the webinar recording here), and how for us, mobile is more about “Mobile Interactions”, rather than just payment.  Many cross channel payment methods are moving in store.  Combining multiple services such as loyalty and couponing will add further value to the checkout experience through the use of NFC Mobile phones.


During the webinar, the attendees were asked to contribute questions for both clarification on specific areas, as well as general industry concerns.  Due to time constraints, we were unable to answer all the questions during the session, so I wanted to spend some time outlining my answers in this blog.

August 2, 2011

Working in the multichannel payments industry and having responsibility for the Point of Interaction, including the customer journey, I am always interested in improving the retail experience through new and existing technology. I have been in a number of meetings where retailers have asked if they could replicate the experience received from a certain fruit based store!
July 27, 2011

As we have seen, contactless payments are beginning to move into the mainstream. As my colleague Mark Carpenter noted in his blog, support for contactless transactions is moving out from the metropolis, even to the rarefied environs of his country retreat.
July 22, 2011

This weekend I witnessed a major breakthrough in contactless payment acceptance. Having spent a lazy sunny afternoon in a beer garden, we asked to close our tab. I watched in disbelieve as the waiter started waving my debit card back and forth over the PIN Pad for a good minute, before inserting my card into the reader looking slightly disappointed. Having noticed my quizzical look, he went on to explain that their PIN pad accepts contactless, and he had been waiting for the day that someone went to pay with a contactless card! For me this was very encouraging – Contactless has migrated from focused busy London locations, all the way to a sleepy village pub 50 miles outside the capital! This waiter not only knew that the PIN Pad supported contactless, but also must have recognised the symbol on my payment card!
June 14, 2011

Today we hear confirmation about a breach of the Sony Playstation Network with the loss of millions of account names and personal details and potentially the loss of payment card details such as the payment card number and Expiry dates, but excluding the security code.


The type of data rumoured lost includes names, addresses, email addresses, account names, account passwords, relevant date of birth and answers to security questions. By security questions one presumes the questions would be of a similar type to: What is the name of your pet?


So should we be concerned?

April 27, 2011

Every man and their dog has a smartphone these days.  Whether an Android, Apple or Blackberry device, today's mobiles are as powerful as desktop PCs were only a decade or so ago.  They can browse the internet and run a countless number of applications.  As such is it inevitable that more and more people are starting to use them like they do with their main PCs – keeping increasing amounts of sensitive personal information on them and using them to make purchases and do personal banking.  The problem is that unlike their PCs, most mobile phones are not currently adequately protected against viruses.  But how many smartphones are there and do people actually use them in sufficient numbers for this to be an issue?

April 8, 2011

Should retail businesses invest in developing an app or stick to improving their website?


I recently attended a summit on multichannel retailing. As predicted, mobile was a topic that came up again and again. It seems to be a bit of a buzz word at the moment yet it was only a year ago that I could not make it through a day without out talking about end-to-end encryption. Now that The Logic Group has multiple solutions for reducing PCI through encryption and tokenisation, it seems that like the industry, my thoughts turn to ensuring our clients can capitalise on mobile transactions.

March 11, 2011

You are a retail business. You have spent a small fortune in time and money to upgrade your systems and processes and a certified QSA has accredited you as PCI DSS compliant. Do you sit back and relax, safe in the knowledge that you have achieved security nirvana and that fraud will never show its ugly face in your business again? Well not quite.

February 22, 2011

Will mobile phones replace the card?


More people leave their wallet at home, than their phone. In the past, this may have caused the shopper some difficulty as they search their pockets at a checkout. This situation is set to change with the introduction of NFC contactless technology coupled with your mobile phone. The exact form factor is evolving from bank issued stickers attached to any item, NFC enabled SIM cards, to contactless enabled handsets. The timelines for mass adoption are still unclear, but we are firmly on the journey!

February 15, 2011

Having recently attended a breakfast briefing in London on the subject of micropayments, I was fascinated to learn that the market opportunity for micropayments is forecasted to grow to €15bn by 2015! A massive growth from today’s estimates of €6bn, considering that most other markets are either flat, or showing minimal growth. The reason for this unprecedented growth?

February 4, 2011

In Dec 2007 the European Commission announced that MasterCard had breached Article 81(1) of the EC treaty, prohibiting agreements and practices that could affect trade between Member States, by setting multi-lateral interchange fees (MIF) for cross border and domestic credit and debit card transactions in 8 member states. Legal wrangling and intense negotiations over the past 3 years have resulted in MasterCard undertaking to adopt certain measures to enhance the transparency of its payment card scheme, enabling consumers and retailers to make better informed choices as to which payment cards they use and accept. As a consequence in 2009, both MasterCard and Visa introduced rules mandating that all EU acquiring banks offer “unbundled” merchant service charges (MSC) from January 2011. But what does this all mean?

January 21, 2011

As the global economy slowly emerges from the downturn in what is becoming an ever more aggressive marketplace, organisations are seeking to gain that all important edge over their rivals, with many once again turning to technology to help maximise their competitive advantage.


At the turn of the century it was the rise of the internet and e-commerce that led the way in providing businesses with a new channel to market to compete against, or complement, the already well established retail outlet and call centre channels. In the new decade many are looking at the rise of mobile technologies, through the development of contactless, smartphones, and tablets to drive consumer demand for mobile commerce and mobile payments. However, as with all early technology advancements one solution doesn’t fit all and there are a plethora of technology options developing through numerous pilots to allow early adopters to test the market place. With countless technology manufacturers, systems integrators and service providers touting their wares and jostling for position it’s no wonder organisations are struggling to know where to start. So what’s it all about and haven’t we been here before?

January 11, 2011

Sometimes “it will never happen to me” should not be the corporate line!


Last year I discovered that my credit card had been used for a number of rogue transactions. My first thought was to blame the wife…but on second glance, they were clearly fraudulent. My mood changed as I thought about all the phone calls and letters it would take to clear up this mess.

December 9, 2010

As more brands adopt contactless technology, how many consumers and staff at the check-out really understand its benefits and how to use it?


Last month Neira Jones, Head of the Payment Security Team at Barclaycard, reported in an interview with Grocery Trader that there are now around eight million cards with contactless functionality across the Barclaycard Group, she also confirmed that Barclaycard “see contactless being as safe as cash, if not more so.”

November 10, 2010

According to the January 2010 report from the National Fraud Authority, fraud now costs the UK an eye watering £30 billion a year. 58% of fraud is committed in the private sector with tax fraud hitting £15.2 billion, and, in the private sector, financial services companies and organisations are said to suffer yearly losses of £3.8 billion through crimes including mortgage and insurance fraud, online banking, cheque and card fraud.
November 10, 2010

100% security doesn’t exist.


The frustrating truth is that almost every organisation will suffer a security breach at some point. Whether it is the defacing of a website, loss of data through a Trojan horse or the corruption of a system by a virus or worm, most companies will experience some form of data breach. This includes merchants who have diligently put measures in place to prevent fraud by implementing the correct security processes and procedures, enlisted specialist third-party anti-fraud services, adhered to appropriate industry initiatives such as 3D Secure and CV2, and complied with PCI DSS to protect their infrastructure against attack.

November 10, 2010

PIN Entry Devices - Marketing campaigns at a consumer level


It’s been a while since I have been reminded to “insert my card into the chip and pin reader” by a retail assistant. Industry regulations have shaped consumer behaviour, and by now, many of us instinctively hover over the reader waiting for the moment of payment. Pin Entry Devices are becoming increasingly part of a retailer’s image, and price is not the only factor in device selection. PIN Pads must enable chip and pin transactions of course, but this is a commodity. What else can the PIN Pad do to convince a store that it merits the investment?

November 4, 2010

In the fast changing technology landscape a week does not pass by without a new Game-changing social media app, a new service in the cloud or some other provocative evolution. What chance does a regulator, such as PCI SSC have in setting a standard that applies to all the technologies employed in payments? Two years since PCIDSS 1.2, PCI DSS 2.0 is now upon us and this was one of topics discussed at a recent QSA roundtable...
November 2, 2010

Contactless payment technology continues to develop; it is a hot topic of discussion as Barclaycard rolls out an update to its TV advert demonstrating the ease of contactless technology – but will its implementation become a rollercoaster ride for retailers and will hard currency become harder to find in the future?
October 7, 2010

The first PCI DSS deadline has been widely discussed by both merchants and payment card industry specialists but what does this really mean, will Visa and Mastercard soon be knocking at your door?
October 1, 2010