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Coffee Republic trials contactless payments

04 August 2008 by

Coffee Republic expects a considerable rise in the use of contactless payment devices for small purchases such as takeaway coffee, and is to encourage use of the system across its franchised estate.

The café chain tested the OneTouch system from Barclaycard Business in its London sites recently, to find out how contactless payment performed for purchases of £10 or under.

In coffee service at peak period, the time taken to handle cash or enter a PIN number can make a significant difference to the time needed to handle a queue of customers. By contrast, the card companies of offer contactless systems claim a transaction time of one second.

At Coffee Republic's Canary Wharf and Bluewater outlets, it was found that the option of a contactless payment was taken up by around 20% of all credit-card customers.

The EPOS systems manager for Coffee Republic, Keisha Meade, has reported that the trial showed that customers had a strong awareness of the concept of contactless technology.

"Customers recognise the technology, understand how to use it and are aware of its advantages such as speed and simplicity," she said. "Most of our bars only have one card terminal, so technology like this can really improve throughput."

Meanwhile, Steven ‘Barty' Bartlett, the former Coffee Republic shareholder who set up a shareholder action group and then effectively took over the company two years ago, is to step down as chief executive.

Executive chairman Peter Breach said that Mr Bartlett had achieved his aim, the rejuvenation of the business.

The chain has 16 company-owned stores in the UK, 53 franchised bars and 112 concessions. The group recently conceded that some of the company-owned stores were performing poorly in comparison to the franchised bars.

By Ian Boughton

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