Testing Tesco’s PayQwiq mobile payment technology

Essential Retail’s Caroline Baldwin downloads Tesco’s PayQwiq app to see if it makes it easier to pay at the till.

Tesco has been trialling its mobile payments solution, PayQwiq, for a few months now. The app allows consumers to pay for their shop, up to £250, with a QR code which also alerts Clubcard to the number of points you have accrued.

Now, I’m a big user of Apple Pay, as soon as my bank (Barclays) finally admitted defeat and allowed their customers to sign up, I have been tapping my iPhone at every POS and Oyster Card reader available. The only problem is when I have a loyalty card that also needs scanning, it means I have to dig around in my handbag for my purse, open my purse, find the relevant card out of about ten possible cards, before handing over the piece of plastic. It defeats the point of Apple Pay. And this happens almost everyday in Tesco (I’m a millennial London shopper, I shop little and often, OK?).

And I know Tesco has a Clubcard app with a digital version of the barcode that’s on the back of your plastic card, but I tried that out and just felt like I was fiddling around on my phone too much at the check-out, needing to unlock my phone, find the Clubcard app, present it, exit the app, lock my iPhone, double click the home button to activate Apple Pay and finally touch it against the POS to pay.

So when I received an email last week from Tesco encouraging me to try out PayQwiq in return for 100 extra Clubcard points for the first five transactions – I thought, why not?

Connecting the app to my Clubcard was so simple, thanks to card-scanning technology, and I was up and running within moments.

And in the store, the staff knew of the technology and took my phone out of my hand briefly to scan the QR code. Simple. I really was impressed at how seamless it was.

The only gripe I have with the service is the trial is limited to London (and bizarrely, Edinburgh). Luckily all my regular London stores have it installed, according to the map, but imagine if you’re a PayQwiq customer and you go to a Tesco without the functionality and have to start digging around your handbag again, I think taking me out of my normal routine would just frustrate me even more. If it’s simply a software update, not hardware, why not just roll it out across your estate?

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