American Golf is Europe’s largest golf retailer, stocking a huge range of equipment for players of all ages and levels. Founded in the UK by two enthusiasts of the sport over 30 years ago, it has grown from a single retail outlet on a golf course to a 120-site operation in the UK and Ireland with 1,000 summertime staff and an extensive eCommerce business.
Over that time, it has burnished its reputation among golfers and is looking to expand even further to become a true one-stop-shop for anything to do with the sport.
Needing a trusted payments partner
American Golf’s relationship with its previous payments partner broke down due to PCI compliance and security issues – a key priority for American Golf and something they could not afford to risk. “That left us with just eight weeks to get a new secure payments infrastructure in place” according to Head of IT, Phil Barker.
He was looking for a name he could trust to deliver on the firm’s ambitious omnichannel retailing plans, with a fast, secure and stable platform. Barker says he knew Worldpay was the right choice when it gave him “the warm feeling that everything was going to be ok”.
“The most important thing with any partner is to be passionate about the product that is being supplied. It really stood out with Worldpay,” he adds. “The other aspect was the technical backup that Worldpay was able to offer us; the stability and ease of integration into the platform. In comparison with our previous suppliers, Worldpay stood out head and shoulders above the rest.”
Choosing the right omnichannel solution for now and the future
Worldpay worked closely with Barker and his team to integrate its flagship omnichannel payment solution Worldpay Total which meets the latest point-to-point encryption (P2PE) standards - safeguarding payment data across all its retail stores. “Thanks to the openness and commitment of the Worldpay team, the whole project was completed in just one month which was amazing”, says Barker.
Worldpay Total is a one-stop-shop payment solution, allowing businesses to accept card transactions across face to face, online, mobile, kiosk and phone channels. It connects till systems to payment devices across potentially dispersed sites, offering a unified experience for both customers and staff. That makes for happier customers and more productive, empowered staff. Worldpay Total uses cross-tokenisation technology which allows businesses to gain a single view of each customer across channels, generating insights to improve their retail strategies going forward.
“Because Worldpay Total is integrated with POS systems there’s no need to manually re-key transaction information, which reduces errors and cuts queues at the till. Security is also a major feature of the solution, with full PCI and P2PE compliance. The latter is the latest PCI standard to improve protection for businesses against card data breaches. It means card details are fully encrypted from the moment of payment, greatly reducing the time and expense associated with PCI compliance, preventing hackers from stealing useable card details.
The importance of speed of service and security
This enhanced security has resolved a major IT headache for Barker. “PCI compliance was a laborious task before,” he says. “The solution that we’ve taken from Worldpay removes a lot of that complexity and gives us the sense of a safety net. Thanks to point to point encryption, nothing touches our network. It lets me sleep a little better at night.”
As well as this enhanced security, Barker has been impressed by the speed and stability of Worldpay Total, compared to previous solutions. “Thanks to the new payment devices that are enabled for contactless, Android Pay and Apple Pay, transactions are on average ten seconds quicker to process than they used to be. This has made staff more productive and has been welcomed by customers who increasingly expect to pay via their mobiles.”
Simple integration and improved operations
“The integration was seamless and there was no need for any costly re-training for American Golf staff. No changes were made to the firm’s POS system, it was just a case of plugging in new, easy-to-use payment devices”, says Barker.
“Back office IT issues have also dropped dramatically. We used to get 5-10 calls a day to the IT support desk about failed payments of one kind or another. That’s gone down to zero,” he explains.
As for the future, Barker sees huge benefits ahead when the firm completes further integration work between its various retail channels. “The omnichannel piece has the potential to be very exciting for us,” he concludes.
For more information about American Golf, please click here.
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