Tesco opens cashless store in central London
Tesco has joined the growing cash-free revolution in the UK after opening its first cashless store in central London. The outlet offers shoppers a range of electronic payment methods via self-service tills but does not accept notes or coins.
The store, which Tesco says is planned to be a permanent outlet, is aimed at shoppers in a hurry. Payment methods include contactless cards, debit and credit cards, Apple Pay and Tesco Pay+.
The branch opened a week after a report warned of the potential problems posed by an increasingly cashless society. The authors of the study said 8 million adults could find cashless payments a problem. The head of the Financial Ombudsman Service, Natalie Ceeney, said: “We need to make sure that this shift [to digital payments] doesn’t leave millions behind.”
The cash-free Tesco is on High Holborn, on the edge of the City of London. In the lunchtime rush on Wednesday, shoppers seemed to approve of the store.
Steve Bugg, a billings supervisor who works locally and emerged with a box of sushi, said he had been “in and out of the shop in a couple of minutes. There were no queues … I will definitely be back.”
Allie, a barrister who bought two meal deals, said: “It was all very quick, but I did find the scanner was very sensitive, and I paid for some items twice, which rather confused things. It’s just as well I noticed.”
The store has 14 till points, only two of which are staffed, to help with purchases of cigarettes and alcohol. It is Tesco’s second cash-free outlet – the first was opened at its head office in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire.