The Co-operative Group has introduced a point-to-point encryption solution which has also paved the way for a new membership loyalty solution.

Paul Fletcher, solutions specialist for EMV payments at The Co-operative, said: “We’d had some difficult years and the impact on the business was that we’d not paid a dividend for three years. We came up with the idea of [introducing] point-to-point encryption and to also relaunch the Co-operative and re-introduce loyalty.”

The company required a payments platform with the requisite point-to-point encryption – that dramatically reduced the scope of sensitive payments data to just being in the pin devices - along with flexibility, batch and real-time capability, and the capacity to cope with anticipated big volumes.

A solution from Postilion was chosen, which Fletcher said also had the advantage of being hosted in the cloud. “We were able to integrate it into different parts of our business and [plug it into] the financial systems and also the call centre through Salesforce.”

This also provided the base from which to introduce the new membership loyalty solution – a stored value proposition called The Wallet – that gives members a 5% reward when buying own-brand goods and services, and hands 1% to the community.

Such has been the success of the programme, the Co-operative expects to have added one million new members by 2018; to have given them back £100 million by 2018; and for these members to generate 50% of its turnover by 2018.

The company also continues to reap the benefits of its point-to-point encryption through more secure transactions, and faster processing of customers at its checkout.