Tesco is testing a contactless system which dispenses with paper receipts, and instead sends a record of your purchase to your smartphone.
After customers have paid for items at the checkout, they tap their debit or credit card on a separate terminal at the till, which sends a digital receipt to a pre-installed phone app. A shortened paper receipt will also be printed out.
But for those who prefer to stick to traditional receipts, the supermarket stresses it is merely giving shoppers the option of going paperless.
Tesco is the first major retailer to trial the system. It is being tested at the self-service tills at two stores in Harlow, Essex, but it could be rolled out more widely if the three-month trial, which finishes next month, proves successful.
Tesco, Britain’s biggest grocer, said the system is designed to make it easier for shoppers to keep a record of their payments, as paper receipts can be lost or torn. And it said there is an added environmental impact, as it will save paper.
Earlier this year, shoppers complained that they were blocked from returning a faulty or unwanted item because their paper receipt had faded.
ONLINE BOOM IS KILLING OUR HIGH STREET STORES
The boom in online shopping is slowly killing off the High Street, a report has claimed.
The number of shops opening in Britain has slumped to a five-year low as consumers increasingly use ‘click and collect services’, said financial services firm PwC.
It found that 15 shops are closing every day, with 2,656 shutting in the first half of 2016 – but only 2,153 opening. Meanwhile there are now more than 22,200 click and collect services across 130 of the nation’s largest retailers.
The service, where shoppers buy online and collect from places such as the Post Office, has reduced the number of shops needed, particularly among clothing retailers.
Some receipts are generated by thermal printers using temperature-sensitive paper that is chemically unstable.
While this saves retailers money because the printers do not require ink, it means receipts can quickly fade if exposed to light and warmth, including body heat.
Tesco has teamed up with IT company Tag Retail Systems for its latest venture. The firm’s ‘Tap&Tag’ terminal provides customers with digital receipts through a smartphone app.
It is the latest attempt by the grocer to make shoppers’ experience at the till more digital. Tesco launched its PayQwiq ‘digital wallet’ app this year, which holds shoppers’ card details.
In 600 stores, shoppers can scan their items at the checkout and pay using the app on their smartphone as part of a pilot scheme.
The rise of card payments and loyalty cards has allowed retailers to collect a treasure trove of information on their customers, to target them with loyalty incentives and special offers.