Tesco has come up with a new way for millions of its shoppers to pay for their groceries – without having to use either cash or a debit or credit card.
The country’s biggest grocer is now encouraging its customers to use the new method, which it says can help them manage their money better and even save money.
It says that more than 20 million shoppers will be able to pay for their shop under this alternative system.
The change involves all Tesco Clubcard members being allowed to apply online for something called a Tesco Clubcard Pay+, writes the Manchester Evening News.
It is a sort of pre-payment debit card being offered by its own Tesco Bank.
People can simply add money to the card and set aside funds just for their grocery shop from any UK bank account – depositing it into their Tesco Clubcard Pay+ account using the Tesco Bank mobile banking app.
The pre-payment card can be used in any shop – or for online shopping.
It won’t let you spend money directly from your current account, however, just the amount applied to the card.
The new Tesco Clubcard Pay+ can also help shoppers to save by rounding up what they buy to the nearest pound – putting the difference automatically into a Round Up account.
A pilot of the scheme was launched last March and since then almost 45,000 accounts have been opened by Tesco customers.
More than £24 million has been spent using the new Clubcard Pay+, so far, involving a total of 12 million transactions – at Tesco and also other retailers.
It has also seen Tesco shoppers collect more than 5.25 million Clubcard points that can then be used to buy treats or on the weekly shop.
The scheme is, so far, proving to be very successful, according to Gerry Mallon, chief executive of Tesco Bank.
“We’re very encouraged to see Tesco Clubcard Pay+ help give shoppers the confidence to start saving while managing their budget and picking up extra Clubcard Points wherever they shop,” he said.
How does Tesco Clubcard Pay+ work?
Anyone who signs up for the Tesco Clubcard Pay+ account will receive a debit card that will replace their current Clubcard.
Provided by Tesco Bank, it is available to all Tesco Clubcard members – but they must be resident in the UK and at least 18 years of age.
Tesco said the account can be applied for online and should only take a few minutes.
Importantly, applying for the card will have no effect on someone’s credit rating.
Subscribe to receive Leicestershire headlines straight to your inbox – for free
For an easy way to stay on top of Leicestershire’s biggest news, get the latest headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Simply sign up here to get our bulletins. It’s completely free.
And if you decide you no longer want the updates – no problem. Just follow the unsubscribe link.
How good is the Round Up savings option?
Figures provided by Tesco reveal that more than £213,000 has been amassed into members’ Round Up savings accounts since last March.
The accounts themselves pay a measly 0.25 per cent interest rate. However, Tesco says its Round Up deal has the advantage of being easy to use and will help customers to save because it is automatic.
The Shawbrook deal also needs £1,000 to open. The next-best rate for easy access accounts is 0.65%, from Paragon, and needs just £1.
Under Tesco’s Clubcard loyalty scheme, which gives you points when you shop at the supermarket, customers get about one Clubcard point for every £1 spent on groceries, and one point for every £2 spent on fuel.
Points can be collected through Tesco Bank and Tesco Mobile too.
Each point is worth 1p – so you get £5 to spend for every 500 points gathered.
If members decide to swap their points to use at a Rewards Partner, they could potentially triple their value.
Money bloggers Ricky and Naomi explained: “Every 50p collected in Tesco Clubcard vouchers can be exchanged for up to £1.50 to spend on days out and attractions around the UK.
“This means you can get free or reduced entry to attractions like Shrek’s Adventure! London, Blackpool Pleasure Beach and Warwick Castle.”
Keep up with the latest news with our email alerts directly to your inbox. Sign up here.