Disney revamping point-of-sale but delaying chip and Pin

The European retail arm of Disney is due to complete an overhaul of its UK point-of-sale systems by late autumn, but it is not...

The European retail arm of Disney is due to complete an overhaul of its UK point-of-sale systems by late autumn, but it is not going to add chip and Pin compliance until February 2005. The decision means Disney will be liable for any card fraud in its stores for up to two months.


The move is part of a trend among mid-sized retailers to hold back from rolling out chip and Pin systems because of issues over time and cost, despite the fact that non-compliant stores will be liable for fraudulent transactions from 1 January 2005.


The Disney Store Europe is in the midst of implementing new point-of-sale systems across its 110 outlets in the UK, France, Spain and Italy, standardising on IBM EPS technology.


The systems should be in place by October, but the company does not want to add chip and Pin compliance - installing card readers and going through the lengthy accreditation process - over the Christmas trading period.


"We do not want staff, many of whom will be temporary, to be learning a new process over Christmas," said Mitchell Edmond, manager of IS at Disney Store Europe. "So we decided to implement in February and take that risk for a couple of months."


Edmond said many retailers were holding fire on chip and Pin rollouts. "It is a massive task and it is hard to make the business case stack up," he said. "From a cost point of view, you have to treat it as if it is statutory."


The Disney Store Europe managed to extract some cost savings on the project by putting the support services contract, with IBM Global Services, out to tender, Edmond said.


When the IBM deal was up for renewal last August, the company signed up Servus Associates, a firm of management consultants that specialise in the renegotiation of IT contracts, to introduce more competition into the contract.


“Our maintenance contract has always been with IBM and it tended to just rollover every three years,” Edmond said. “We got Servus involved and served notice on IBM before putting it out to tender. We ended up staying with IBM but we will save 25% year on year on the deal.”


Once the point-of-sale systems are in place, The Disney Store Europe hopes to introduce new initiatives, such as mobile queue busting systems and electronic ticketing for Disney theme parks, Edmond said.

Read more on IT risk management