LONDON – United Kingdom grocers are embracing digital in a big way with the news that both Tesco and Sainsbury’s are working on mobile payments, Retail Gazette reports. This week, Tesco launched Pay+, a mobile app that allows customers to pay via their smartphone. The app is essentially a newer version of the grocer’s PayQwiq digital wallet.
Customers will be allowed to link more than one payment card to the app, which now has more than quarter million users. “We are proud that we constantly invest in enhancing the shopping experience so that our customers receive a unique and exceptional service,” said Mark Loch, Tesco group payments director. “Our digital wallet has proved to be hugely popular with our customers and we are confident that Tesco Pay+, with its fantastic capability, will continue to transform the shopping journey offering little helps to customers every time they shop in Tesco.”
Rival Sainsbury’s is trialing technology that skips the checkout line, Retail Gazette also reports. The program allows customers to scan items into their phone, then pay automatically through their phone as well. “We are always looking for new ways to help our customers live well – and saving customers time is one way we can do so,” said Natalie Dunn, Sainsbury’s head of customer experience. “Experimenting with a checkout-free experience is a first for Sainsbury’s and many of our customers, so we are keen to understand how we can take the concept and develop an offering that is genuinely useful for those who shop with us.”
The Sainsbury’s technology works similarly to Amazon’s Go store, which has been in the testing phase in Seattle and lets shoppers check out without waiting in line. Sainsbury’s SmartShop app will be extended to 50 stores by the end of 2017.