UK: Case Study: B&Q Direct
Last Updated: 7 May 2003

B&Q Direct’s online transactional website,, was launched in January 2001. By March 2003 it had become one of the largest stores in B&Q and its continued rapid growth will soon make it the biggest store in the group. The site sells a range of 14,000 products and is already the number one store for many heavy and bulky items and many other smaller product ranges.

As well as generating considerable revenues of its own, is part of a wider, multi-channel retail strategy that includes call centres and catalogues. All channels feed each other. For instance, 10% of those that shop in-store have researched their purchases online.

A critical component in the overall success of and the B&Q Direct call centres is their ability to process credit and debit cards efficiently and to restrict the level of card fraud. In September 2002 B&Q Direct appointed DataCash, a leading UK-based provider of outsourced payment processing and fraud prevention solutions, to handle the credit and debit card processing for both and all its call centres.

Before DataCash was appointed, B&Q had used a software solution provided by a US-based company to handle its card processing. B&Q had two key issues with this solution, one technical and one business, which led them to look for a new supplier.

  1. Technical Issues
  2. B&Q were using a software product from a US-based company. This presented three key issues.

    Firstly, because it was a software product it needed to be installed on B&Q’s own machines in their own premises, all of which had a significant Capex cost. Also B&Q had to design, integrate, test, implement, and most importantly, incur the cost and time of feeding and watering the hardware, software and communication links with the banks required to support and run the card payments processing cycle.

    Secondly, there were issues with the quality and timeliness of the software supplier’s technical support, some of which were problems inherent in transatlantic time differences. It quickly became clear that B&Q needed a locally based supplier if they were to get the quality and speed of support they expected.

    Thirdly, the focus and pace of software development was not in line with the desired direction for B&Q Direct, which was geared towards taking advantage of quick implementations of new value-add initiatives across the UK card processing market. At a time when the protocols and standards for processing e-commerce card transactions are still evolving, this lack of focus and commitment began to become a serious issue.

  3. Business Issues

Keeping fraud to a minimum is vital to any retailer, especially when margins are under constant pressure. Before the appointment of DataCash, B&Q was suffering from unacceptable levels of fraud, and was therefore under significant pressure to reduce its fraud percentage.

B&Q began to research suppliers of payment processing solutions that were able to support new UK-based anti-fraud initiatives like AVS/CSC, deliver fraud screening solutions and were committed to future card industry initiatives such as Verified by Visa.

In August 2002 DataCash was confirmed as B&Q’s payment processing supplier. In September the DataCash solutions were switched on. DataCash now processes all transactions that come from the web, store-supporting call centres and B&Q’s main call centre in Gateshead. The appointment of DataCash has resolved many of B&Q’s issues:

  • DataCash is a fully outsourced, hosted solution meaning that B&Q are no longer required to feed and water the hardware, communications and processing cycles. Delivering World Class service availability of over 99.99% allows B&Q to focus on its core skills, maximising the earnings potential from its web site and call centres.
  • As a UK-based company, DataCash is sensibly located to provide B&Q with high quality, highly responsive technical and account management support.
  • DataCash’s XML APIs were "extraordinarily simple" to integrate. "The whole process of design, integration, testing and implementation took six weeks. Post-live support lasted two weeks. In the context of the size of the overall project, this was very light", says Matt Louth, Head of Application Development at B&Q Direct.
  • Meanwhile, DataCash’s web-based, real-time MIS Reporting service enables B&Q to monitor and report on transactions on a summary-to-detailed channel basis.
  • Within six months fraud has quickly been reduced through a combination of AVS and highly sophisticated, customisable fraud screening tools. Experience suggests this will continue to fall as historic data allows for more fine-tuning of the fraud screening rules.
  • DataCash, through its early accreditation and support for Verified by Visa protocols, has demonstrated its commitment to keeping pace with future trends and requirements.

Quote from Gavin Breeze, Business Development Director, DataCash:

"B&Q Direct is a delight to work with. We take great pride in our ability to deliver World Class outsourced payment solutions and relish the challenge of meeting the demands of leaders in their industry. In the six months since we began working together, B&Q have seen their transaction volumes significantly increase, and at the same time fraud has been significantly reduced."

Quote from Matt Louth, Systems Manager, B&Q Direct:

"Our aim is to make a customer’s shopping mission as quick & easy as possible, and as part of delivering against this principle we have chosen to work with DataCash. The integration of our web and telephone sales channels to the DataCash solution has allowed us to minimise any payment related delays in order processing, whilst providing a toolset that leaves us better able to detect fraud."

About DataCash

DataCash is a division of Auxinet PLC, which began developing electronic payment technology for many of today's commerce-enabled web sites in 1996 in response to the emerging demand for secure, real time e-commerce transactions. With a customer list including FTSE 100 and companies, Auxinet has an enviable track record of delivering market-leading payment solutions supported by exceptional customer service. DataCash’s early lead in developing "credit card not present" transaction environments, gives the company a distinct advantage in servicing the demands of organisations, whether they are selling via the Web, Interactive TV, Kiosk, Call Centre, Interactive Voice Response ('IVR') or even High Street point of sales channels.

About B&Q

B&Q has been in the DIY business for more than 30 years and is the UK’s most successful and innovative home improvement retailer. B&Q employs over 33,000 people in over 320 UK stores.

B&Q operates two different kinds of stores – the larger B&Q Warehouses, which cater for the needs of the keen DIY’er and trade with their wide range of products and staff expertise, and B&Q Supercentres which are convenient for most people to pop into for their everyday needs. was launched as a fully interactive e-commerce site in January 2001. It stocks approximately 14,000 products and is a subset of the B&Q Warehouse range.

Contact names addresses:


Gavin Breeze


T: 07770 752 563

B&Q Direct

Matt Louth

Systems Manager - Application Development


T: 02380 625156

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Press Releases from this Firm
Font Size:
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.