Wexford Rounding Trial
The National Payments Plan (NPP) is a strategic roadmap for transforming payments in Ireland, published by the National Payments Plan of Ireland in April 2013. One of the recommendations of the NPP was to conduct a two month Rounding Trial in a mid-sized Irish town to investigate consumer and retailer reaction to the introduction of a rounding rule for 1c and 2c coins in Ireland. The objective of conducting the Rounding Trial was to inform national policy on whether or not to roll out rounding nationwide. Consumers and businesses in the town had to be the ones to decide and they had to have the means to contribute their views on rounding effectively.
Drury | Porter Novelli was appointed to project manage the Trial from beginning to end and lead a team which included Amárach Research, who were on board to research attitudes to rounding before, during and after the Trial. This was an all encompassing public information campaign across consumer, business and stakeholder audiences, involving significant project management and public consultation. There was also an important research element to the brief, which needed to be considered in the context of the overall campaign. Ascertaining whether or not retail prices rose in the local economy as a result of rounding was a key part of the brief. The National Payments Plan selected Wexford as the host town for the Trial following a formal application process, with submissions being invited from local Chambers.
Drury | Porter Novelli secured the support of organisations including the Wexford Chamber of Commerce and retail representative groups including as RGDATA, Retail Ireland, Retail Excellence Ireland and the CSNA (Convenience Stores and Newsagents Association) for the Trial. This was invaluable to the Trial as it meant that these stakeholders were briefed in advance to answer questions from their members on the Trial and provide updates on the Trial through their own communications channels.
The results of the Wexford Rounding Trial were published by the National Payments Plan of Ireland on 14th March 2014, recommending that rounding be rolled out nationally, on the basis of the successful Trial in Wexford. The ensuing media coverage was extremely positive and the communications groundwork for a successful national rollout has been laid..