Shopping through others

Protecting your money when others are shopping

Hi All,

How is January treating you? I can’t believe we’re nearly at the end of the first month of the year already! This post was originally going to be about two new accessible products this year. However, while researching them, I became aware of many questions about shopping, money and what to do if others need to physically shop for you. So I thought I’d write a post about the solution I’ve found for this. Handing over your card and pin isn’t advisable even if you trust the person implicitly.

People who shop for me

My PAs used to shop for me. Due to waiting for social services, I’m without formal support and relying on my parents. They do everything for me including the shopping for which I’m grateful. The question of protecting money mainly comes up when people are referring to formal care. Unfortunately giving your PIN number to a family member can also be seen as aiding fraud.

Banks won’t cover multiple people shopping for 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 my situation I was told I could nominate two people. 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

Shopping for a solution.

Now that I knew bank accounts were out I started thinking about alternatives. The obvious one is cash but I feel vulnerable using 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. When I searched all of the prepaid cards had fees. 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 get in touch 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 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 where you choose to connect your current account, this is what I have done or manually top up the card.

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 both are authenticated by FaceID. All I have to do is stare at my phone.

Off to the shops

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 has been helpful, any questions please get in touch. How do you handle shopping when you can’t physically be there for whatever reason? 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?