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Technology has a major role to play in the future of shopping. Online ordering for example is already part of Musgrave’s plans and those of our retail partners and will no doubt grow in importance. But what is most important for many of our customers is making the in-store experience as smooth and efficient as possible. That’s why the recent announcement of the first Centra store in Ireland to offer Visa contactless payment to customers is so relevant.

Customers at Paul and Kay Ryan’s Centra Clonroadmore in Ennis are the first Centra shoppers to feel the benefits of a system that allows customers to pay for small orders without entering a PIN. They simply hold the Visa card over a reader.

This is important for the obvious reason that it will speeds up transaction time and shorten queues. But it also underlines the importance of technological innovation not just to the places where you might do a weekly or monthly shop but to smaller stores where you would top up your provisions or get some food in for the next couple of days. If your shopping needs are modest then meeting them should be a very quick and easy process. Contactless payment can make that happen. And if, as futurologists insist, people will eventually wave not a Visa card but a mobile phone at a reader, we and our partners will be ready. Enhancing customer convenience is always at the forefront of our planning and technology is increasingly a key part of that planning.

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