PDF417 and St Andrews

PDF417.For those of you who don’t know its a type of barcode. To quote Wikipedia “PDF417 is a stacked linear barcode symbol format used in a variety of applications”. Andy Ryan knows this because he told me on Tuesday that the Wallet will need to move to this format in later releases to increase the amount of data we need to use for future functionality. This was all very interesting but Andy on the plane from Luton then got out a large scrap book of barcodes he had about his person and proceeded to animatedly discuss each of the barcode types and do an impression of the scanner noise for each one. We got some very odd looks on the plane! This may be a figment of my imagination. We were in Welwyn Garden City for a workshop to bottom out who needed to do what to ensure we have a release that hangs together across the infrastructure, integration, settlement, identity, till and payment services teams. There are a lot of moving pieces to this one but the people in the room were determined and keen which gives me great hope for a Wallet release early next year. To make it a little more real have a look at the test receipt the till team have generated in their labs.


You may have noticed that a number of us were out of the office on Thursday. There was a good reason for this as we were at the Tesco Bank Leadership Conference outside St Andrew’s. The presentations were very good, with a heavy emphasis on Digital, and among other things, I learnt the following. 

– Tesco has 40 million square feet of retailing space and has 30% of UK market share
– Analysts are still gloomy about Tesco’s prospects as they don’t see an end to the downturn in their fortunes. Probably a good time to buys shares ( disclaimer – what you do with your own money is your own problem and if they go down don’t blame me)
– Some key opportunities for Tesco bank are to leverage Clubcard and to take advantage of the physical distribution capability that Tesco has in place
– There has been a 9% reduction in the use of cash in the last year
– 1 in 5 people have no savings
–  The ‘squeezed middle’ have seen a 10% reduction in their disposable income
–  9.7 million people use banking apps in the UK
– If you have a banking app you are likely to check your account 23 x a month – have a look at this link, an opportunity maybe?  http://thenextweb.com/insider/2013/11/08/cardlytics-2
– We made a half yearly trading profit of £88M 
– Our ROCE is 11% which compares to 13% for the group overall and 4 – 12% for mid tier banks
– We are doing better than our competitors with the revenue we get from ATMs but this may be under threat from the regulator re the interconnect fees and this is forcing us to look at how we can increase our exposure to the loans market
– We are the number 1 online credit card and loans provider
– We are number 10 in the Which Customer Satisfaction Survey. First Direct is number 1
– The world is moving from having physical products provided on the retailers terms to Digital products on the customers terms. See also this article I spotted today about just that http://gigaom.com/2013/11/07/blockbuster-netflix-and-the-end-of-movies-as-a-product/
– There are 20 million TVs in the UK connected to the Internet
– Michael Cormish Tesco’s Group Digital Officer urged us to embrace technology as it provides a competitive advantage, take risks, hire really good engineers, ask questions and provide a great customer experience
– Tesco Bank has sold 1.26 million policies but this generates 4 million calls. Surely an opportunity to provide some Online servicing capability to reduce costs

I believe the presentations will be shared. When they are I will of course cascade.

Black Ops are almost there! I believe they have worked their magic and we will have a Dev Lan next week. When this happens I will give Fen a big hug and I suggest you all do to. 

In the week that Twitter’s IPO defied gravity as their shares went up 89% on the day offer have a look at the first Tweets. Not terribly inspiring I am afraid.


Have a great weekend everybody.


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