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What is Tesco Pay+ and how can I use it on my phone?

What is Tesco Pay+? It’s the question on, well, not many people’s lips just yet as it’s so new – but it will be soon.

Tesco Pay+ is another member of the mobile payment app brigade that is vying for your phone’s smarts to let you pay for things without using a card. This leads the way ahead of Asda’s and Sainsbury’s efforts that are limited to online shopping only. Tesco Pay+ has actually been around in the form of PayQwiq for a while now but this new version is updated and enhanced.

As a supermarket-only payment system, how does that work? And, importantly, where will it work? Read on to have all your questions answered.

What is Tesco Pay+?

Tesco Pay+ is a mobile payment app that lets you pay for your shopping in-store with your smartphone. Yup, this is limited to use in Tesco shops only. It’s also not a contactless payment system like Apple Pay or Android Pay.

Unlike contactless payments, this isn’t limited to the usual £30 top end. Using Tesco Pay+ you can spend up to £250 using your phone alone, not to mention you get reward points in the transaction too.

Tesco Pay+ is effectively a rebranding of the existing PayQwiq app, which will soon be phased out. Since its rollout earlier this year it has been used by over a quarter of a million users. That equates to a payment every three seconds, says Tesco. For those updating to the new app, all previous payment history and details will be transferred at sign-in.

How does Tesco Pay+ work?

Tesco Pay+ allows you to pay for items of shopping using a code on your phone’s screen that can be scanned at checkout.

Tesco Pay+ app QR code

Since this tops out at £250, it should mean that you don’t need to bring your wallet at all. It also means you don’t need to scan your Tesco Clubcard for loyalty reward points as these are added automatically.

The app links to your payment card of choice so it’s like you’re paying directly from that card’s account without even having it on you – similarly to Apple Pay. Since multiple cards can be linked to the same account you don’t even need to worry about one running low, as you can simply switch to another. Cards that work with Tesco Pay+ include Visa, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, MasterCard, MasterCard Debit, Maestro and American Express.

You can also more readily keep track of your spending as the app logs all your receipts and what’s more, it works even when your phone doesn’t have any signal. The same process also works for refunds, making them easier too.

What devices does Tesco Pay+ work on?

Tesco Pay+ is available to download for free on the Google Play store for Android phones and on the App Store for iPhones.

If you have more than one phone, or want another family member to share the same Tesco Pay+ account on their device, that is also possible. You simply need to get the authentication code from the app and use that to access the app on the new phone then both will work using the same logged-in account.

To find the code, open the app on your registered phone and open the menu. Select Phones if you’re on iOS or My Phones if you’re on Android. Then add another phone before getting your authentication code. Enter this code on your new phone, set up your PIN and you’re all set.

What Tesco Pay+ alternative apps are there?

Tesco isn’t the only superstore to offer an app to help make shopping and payments easier. Asda and Sainsbury’s also have their own versions. Neither of these allows for in-store payments though.

Sainsbury’s is testing a checkout-free app that allows customers to scan their own items using their phone’s camera and then walk right out of the shop. This is being trialled at a Euston shop for meal deals but could be the future of payments soon. The Sainsbury’s app currently in mainstream use allows for online grocery shopping only.

The Asda app is similar, allowing you to online shop using a shopping list. This can be built-up by scanning the barcodes of items you have which are running low.

Tesco Pay+ release date and price

The Tesco Pay+ app is already available for download. The app is free to download and will charge your linked cards when you make a purchase.

You will initially be charged £2 as a way of proving the card is real. This won’t actually be taken from you but may show up on your transactions briefly.


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