The PayQwiq service is currently available at 16 of Tesco’s smaller Express stores in London, as well as at 26 of its Express, Metro and Superstore store formats in Edinburgh. It is currently only available to a small number of staff members as part of a trial, although there are plans to extend that to customers in October.
To use the feature, triallists have to sign up using their log-in for Tesco’s online grocery service. They can then add credit card details and will receive an email to download and access the PayQwiq app.
In store, shoppers have to scan their items at the checkout, sign in to the app using a four-digit pin and pick which card they would like to pay on. A QR code will appear on their phones which the till scans to pay for the shopping and add any relevant Clubcard points to their account.
A Tesco spokeswoman has confirmed the trial and says the response from people using it has so far been good. She declined to give details on when, or if, the service might get a wider rollout.
“We’re running a small trial in a small number of stores, looking at using mobile phones to pay for products by scanning barcodes. The response has so far been positive,” she says.
Tesco applied to trademark the PayQwiq name in January and in February announced plans to trial a digital wallet. The supermarket hopes the service will make it faster and easier for customers to buy their shopping, thus speeding up the checkout process.
It also means shoppers that forget their Clubcard will still see their points added to their accounts. The app works with all the major credit card providers and has a daily spending limit of £400, much higher than other contactless payment options.
Tesco has made a number of attempts to improve the shopping experience in recent months. It is currently trialing a “Scan as you Shop” service in 200 stores that lets customers scan items as they go and means they don’t have to unload their shopping at the checkout. The aim is to roll this out nationwide.
The supermarket also plans to launch a digital Clubcard later this year that will allow people to receive personalised promotions direct to their smartphones.