Shop safely and protect your money when others are assisting you.

Shop safely and protect your money when others are assisting you

How to shop safely and protect your money when others are assisting you is something I never thought about until I started relying on formal care. There are many reasons why assistance may be needed. For me, my disability means that I cannot access many things without help. So I thought I’d write a post about the solution I’ve found for this.

I started inclusivelivingconcepts as I wanted to share my lived experience of disability, the struggle for access and inclusion and any useful tips I’ve picked up whilst living with Cerebral Palsy.

Handing over your card and pin isn’t advisable even if you trust the person implicitly.

Protecting your money when others are shopping

My PAs used to shop for me. Due to waiting for social services, I’m relying on my parents for the bulk of my care at the moment. Unfortunately giving your PIN number to anyone, even a family member, is seen as aiding fraud as you are giving them access to your money. What this means is that you are giving them permission. Regardless of what disabilities you have this means you won’t be covered should anyone spend your money.

Banks won’t cover multiple people shopping for you!

This is why it is vital you protect your money when others are assisting you. Banks/financial institutions don’t cover you if your card is used by ANYONE not named on the account. I found this out when I went into my local branch a few years ago. When I explained I have a disability and need help to access the community I was told I could nominate two people on my account. This might be useful for some but is no good to me as my care requires more than a team of two. The advisor then went on to say if I gave my information to anyone then any money that was taken would not be covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) or the bank. If someone decided to take money from my account I wouldn’t see it again!

Credit and Debit Cards enable you to shop safely and protect your money.

Shopping safely

Now that I knew bank accounts were out I started thinking about alternatives. The obvious one is cash but I feel vulnerable accessing cash points. I take ages getting the money out. I’ve always felt that someone could walk past, reach above my head and steal my money without breaking a sweat. There’s cashback from supermarkets although that’s not so widely available since COVID-19.

The only option left was top-up cards or prepaid cards. These allow you to load your own money onto the card but once the amount is spent you cannot spend anymore. I’m a big user of the MoneySavingExpert website and highly recommend it if you want advice on how to make your money go further. As I wanted a fee-free card I very cleverly searched the internet for a ‘free prepaid card’ Scoff all you like but it worked, I found Tesco’s ClubcardPay+. Their card is completely free to use.

This post isn’t sponsored by Tesco they aren’t even aware I’m writing this. I’m just pleased to find a product that works. If someone from Tesco is reading this and wants to give me a commission for recommending their product, feel free. 🙂

Registering and using the card to shop

Registering is easy. If you can perform basic computing tasks, you’ll do this with no problem. Click here and you will get the screen below to register.

Register for Clubcard Pay+

The only requirements are that you live in the UK, have a Tesco Clubcard, and have access to a smartphone to enable you to use their app. If you don’t have a Clubcard it’s free and you will have the option to sign up for one further down on the registration page, see below.

Join Tesco's Clubcard Scheme

The application process took me about ten minutes and was straightforward. You will get your card and PIN within seven working days. They will arrive separately for security. In the meantime, you can download the app, Tesco Bank.

Tesco Bank App

When you’ve received your card, and PIN and logged onto the app you will be greeted with the screen below.

Tesco Bank Home Screen

Next, you will need to top up which will lead you to the screen below. This is where you connect your current account, this is what I have done. Adding money manually is possible but if your bank is listed the automation process is easier.

Adding money to your account

After selecting your bank you will be asked how much you want to transfer.

Top up your account

After choosing your top-up amount you will be connected to your bank to authorise the transfer. For me, this is really easy as I have my banking app also on my phone and FaceID authenticates both. All I have to do is stare at my phone.

Using Tesco’s Clubcard Scheme to shop safely and protect your money when others are assisting you by not giving access to your main accounts.

Once topped up I can give the card and PIN to anyone and they’ll be limited to the amount on the card. The card is handed over and a PIN is requested for a first-time purchase. Contactless payments up to £100 are also possible with this card but as you can see from my screenshots I have less than £100 available to be spent. Once transactions have taken place the amounts spent and where also appear in the app. Great for peace of mind and for keeping track of your spending.

I hope this inclusivelivingconcepts post has been helpful. please get in touch with any questions or comments.

I’m interested to know how you handle shopping if you need assistance in accessing what you need. Were you aware that your bank or building society wouldn’t refund you if people were to take advantage of your trust when shopping for you?

Financial institutions need to think about how people with disabilities can access their money with choice, control and independence. Three inclusivelivingconcepts we should all have!

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