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Tesco continues move to ‘more digital’ checkout with contactless paperless receipts

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Tesco is testing contactless, paperless receipts in two stores in Harlow, Essex, sending them to the user’s Tesco app instead, as the retailer looks to make its whole check out process more digital.

Once the customer has paid, they tap their contactless debit or credit card on a new terminal on the checkout and the receipt appears on the specially downloaded version of the store’s app. A shorter paper-based receipt is also printed out.

The three month trial concludes next month and, if deemed a success, it will be rolled out across the retailer’s network of stores in 2017.

Working with tech company Tag Retail Systems, Tesco introduced the trial to lessen the impact of paper receipts and thermal ink printing on the environment and to cut down on the bits of paper consumers have to carry around. It is also a way of keeping proof of purchase useful, says the retailer, as paper receipts can be torn, screwed up lost or fade, making it very hard to return goods.

But Tesco isn’t the first major High Street retailer to bring in digital receipts. According to Andrew Carroll, CEO of Yocuda, a leading digital receipt supplier, “Tesco’s trial of digital receipts comes more than four years after the high street started to adopt digital receipts, with major household names like Argos, Debenhams, Halfords, Booths and Monsoon Accessorize already running successful programmes. In this time Yocuda, has delivered digital receipts to more than 28m people – that’s over half the working population.”

Carroll continues: “It’s surprising that Tesco is adopting a hardware solution and requiring customers to use an additional NFC tag, when ideally they should be able to use software on their existing systems connected to a customer’s Club Card account. This solution appears to be adding a secondary and potentially unnecessary step for customers, when the whole point of digital receipts is to make life simpler.”

The move also comes hot on the heels of Tesco launching its PayQwiq mobile payment app, which itself was Tesco’s attempt to connect the analogue world the traditional check out and the digital payments world.

PayQwiq, like most other mobile payment apps, allows Tesco consumers load debit or credit cards into the app, which is then used to pay online by scanning QR and bar codes on the screen. It will also allow users to pay at contactless terminals in store. PayQwiq also lets users simultaneously collect Club Card points as they spend.

PayQwiq has so far been trialled in an invitation-only trial in 50 stores in Edinburgh, Plymouth, London and Northern Ireland. The trial is now being extended to 500 stores across the country and Tesco is writing to 600,000 Club Card holders to tell them about the service and to encourage them to download the app.

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