Mail Newspapers has launched a subscription trial across its Scottish titles which will process customer payments digitally rather than through traditional paper vouchers.

While this is still subject to review before further rollout, RN asked the publisher what the trial means for the retailers involved, and how it could potentially benefit you and your customers.

Retail Newsagent: How will it work?

Mail Newspapers: Mail subscriptions members will have the option of paying for their Scottish Daily Mail and The Scottish Mail on Sunday in advance, rather than at tills with cash or other payment methods.

RN: What is included in the subscriptions packages?

MN: The subscriptions packages available include both print and digital editions. A new premium package will also be trialled, providing a comprehensive news package including the Scottish Daily Mail and The Scottish Mail on Sunday plus access to the Mail on tablets and smartphones. A new subscriptions website has been designed to make it simpler and easier for customers to sign up.

RN: How does this change how retailers work with customers?

MN: Customers who usually pay for their newspapers on a casual daily basis will be given a Mail subscriptions card, which retailers will scan or swipe through an epay, PayPoint or Payzone terminal. Retailers will be credited for the full daily cover price of the paper for each transaction.

RN: What if retailers don’t have one of these terminals?

MN: They will be entitled to a free version of Paperround, an online news management system, to process the payments.

RN: What if a store processes subscriptions through home news delivery?

MN: Home news delivery will also be tested as part of this trial with a small group of independents. These retailers will need to ask their customers for a letter they received with their welcome pack, and scan the barcode through the terminal.

RN: Will there be any extra commission or other benefits?

RN: Retailers will not receive any extra commission, but there is no cost for using the terminal. The retailer gets the full price and margin of the paper. In addition to the anticipated sales increase, frequency of purchase and retention, customer payments through i-movo and Paperround – which have partnered to provide the service – will help speed up redemptions, improve cashflow and cut time spent on administration.