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Payments Innovation at Groupe Auchan, One of the World's Largest Retailers

France-based Groupe Auchan is the world’s eleventh largest food retailer, with more than 3,000 stores, spanning 15 countries across Europe and Asia. The retail giant is embarking on a major payments initiative that will not only benefit the organization, but its hundreds of thousands of customers as well—a new SEPA-compliant European card payments platform, the first of its kind in Europe. 

 We sat down with Arnaud Crouzet, Head of Group Global Payments Development at Auchan. Arnaud provides insight into the rationale behind this move and what it means to Auchan’s technology-savvy customer base.

1. Why did you decide to embark on this major initiative—implementing a Pan-European centralized card payments platform? How is this different/unique?

The payment market is evolving and consumer buying habits and expectations are changing.  Delivering an optimal customer experience—not just today, but every day—is crucial.

In Europe, each country has its own regulations, industry associations, standards and protocols; every time a new payment solution is introduced in a country, it needs to adhere to that country’s specifications and protocols. Depending on the country, some protocols do not allow some functionality, which hampers innovation. And innovation is key.

We are constantly testing, innovating and improving the customer experience, offering quick, simple and secure ways to shop and purchase, which now include mobile and biometric payments. And we’re doing this with a new centralized card payments platform, managing all electronic transactions, through all channels (in-store, online and mobile) across Europe. This centralized platform allows us to manage and customize our deployment for new payments capabilities in regard to our strategy throughout Europe. In other words, adopting a single approach leads to better overall management, no matter the country. 

2. What benefit(s) will this platform bring to Auchan and what benefit(s) will it bring to consumers? 

Our new platform allows us to quickly and easily bring new services and innovations to all of our stores—from the aforementioned mobile and biometrics capabilities to additional layers of security. We want to ensure our customers enjoy the best shopping (and payments) experience, one that is both convenient and secure.

We employ a large and talented innovation group that’s finding new ways to further improve the shopping experience.