SWITCH for Waitrose
In August 1990 the Gazette reported on a new debit card system currently being installed in Waitrose. Four years previously a trial was started in Waitrose Marlow, operating a forerunning system called Streamline. This was a joint study with IBM and NatWest, and represented one of the first debit card systems to be installed in a British supermarket.
The result was clear evidence of customer interest, and of increased speed at the checkouts.
The debit card system being installed, the Fortronic F75, would be separate from the main till, and located to the side or behind the cashier. The cashier ran the customer’s card through the machine and punched the total from the main register into the debit card till. A till slip was printed which the cashier handed to the customer to sign. One copy was retained as a paper backup and the other copy was given to the customer.
‘At some point in the future Waitrose may replace this system with an ‘intelligent’ register, a single machine which performs all these functions as well as printing cheques and having the capacity for scanning.’
“Training on the system involved approximately eight trainers in the field and a further two supporting” explained Mr Alan Ducker. “These will be responsible for training 7,000 to 8,000 Partners in the use of the new equipment.