PayPoint cutoutLocal shops with PayPoint terminals could have a new group of customers shortly. This is because the payment service provider has signed a deal with the UK Ministry of Justice so that people can pay fines for some driving offences, for being drunk and disorderly, for vandalism and similar at PayPoint outlets.

Initial reaction from retailers has not been warm. Heather Dunn of Keswick told Retail Newsagent: “I really don’t see how offering another low-margin collection service is going to help.”

Ever since the lottery launched in the UK with its 5% retail margin, retailers have suffered from service providers treating this a benchmark. What other service providers may not appreciate is the lottery comes with great emotional baggage. People are buying a dream! Retailers want shoppers to buy dreams in their shops.

Major suppliers recognise this and are spending more on point-of-sale solutions as researchers find that the scribbled shopping list is used less and less and people buy on impulse more and more.

“In-store is a really important venue,” says Tina Glennie, a Mars trade marketer. Shoppers want low prices but they don’t want a mundane experience. “In confectionery, there’s a place for bringing some joy!”

Perhaps some offenders will feel a little joy at being able to pay off their fine at a local shop. But like Mrs Dunn, most local shoppers will fear that they may get the wrong sort of shopper transaction.