Mobile Pay Using Sainsbury’s SmartShop app

Sainsbury’s have been rolling out mobile pay on their SmartShop app for a few months. Today I found a Sainsbury’s Local near me which supports it, so I gave it a go. It felt pretty seamless scanning items on the phone and using Apple Pay within the app. You then scan a QR code before leaving the shop and a receipt pops up in the app so it doesn’t feel too much like shoplifting!

I’ve been interested in Amazon Go for a while, but I think this is the closest I’ll get to experiencing that.

I’m hoping Sainsbury’s continue to support this and it’ll be ideal if their regular supermarkets eventually adopt it too - I tend to use SmartShop for the weekly shop, but the checkout area is fairly cramped, so I’d love to have the ability to pay on my phone and walk out without having to stop at the checkout.


The M&S one lets you pay on your phone and just walk out the shop. :sweat_smile: You get a receipt on your screen incase someone asks to check it when you leave.

(30p min, £30 max, though).

The app isn’t as well made as he Sainsbury’s one though, but it works.


The Asda one lets you scan the items but you still have to pay at the till, so it’s a bit pointless unless you’re getting a load of stuff at once (which I never do, as online shopping exists).

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This is great, I didn’t know this existed!

I’ve used the scan and shop for years and it saves a lot of time and its easier to see what you’re spending.

Do they do any sort of spot checks?

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I find it useful with kids, as can give one of them something to do whilst shopping, and I can spend less time at the tills (usually).

Not sure about spot checks. I think it’s different using this in a Sainsbury’s Local than in a big Sainsbury’s. Scanning the QR code on exit sends information about the shopping to their system so they can see what you’ve bought. And you get a digital receipt as well in case you get challenged!

Co-op have also been trialling a system which works like the M&S one - it’s called “Pay in Aisle”.

I believe Waitrose Quick Check was the first app-based system to launch in the U.K. back in 2016, but it still requires finalising the shop at the checkout - it massively cuts the time at checkout anyway, though, as it’s only pressing a few buttons on a self checkout 99% of the time. They do occasionally do spot checks too.

SmartShop works very similarly to this in a big Sainsbury’s, as does the Asda system.

Excellent choice of pastry :smiley:

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If I recall correctly, it also required the use of the in shop WiFi, which didn’t work.

It worked on 4G or 3G too, but you often struggled to receive this in parts of the shop (right at the back usually) so it was always suggested to connect to the Wifi.

However, it was never a requirement and, although annoying to need to register for it, it has always worked for me. I tend to open a browser and check to make sure it is working before using the app, though, as sometimes it wants to display a “Welcome back” screen before allowing an unfettered connection. I would describe these as niggles rather than the system not working, but perhaps I’m too forgiving! I still find it better than a checkout anyway.

I used this at my local big Sainsbury’s a couple of weeks ago. Couldn’t fault it other than it took 10 minutes for the in store wifi login screen to come up // the signal inside supermarkets near me is always rats.


This seems to be the case everywhere!

Probably something to do with supermarkets having so many fridges and freezers which block phone signal since they are basically huge metal containers?

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I think Apple were the first with App based payments in store after scanning your own items with EasyPay. I could be wrong though on that but not sure!

But that’s not groceries :sweat_smile: so probs irrelevant here.

I didn’t know about Apple’s system - I was only thinking groceries, yes!

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Am I right in saying this Sainsburys app has become mobile payment only? I used to be able to store my credit card in there, but my credit card doesn’t support Google pay so I’ve had to stop using the app. Seems odd that they would go backwards