// M&S, Asda launch online vouchers for volunteers to pay & pick up shopping for those in need
// Allows volunteers assisting elderly, vulnerable or self-isolating customers to pay without cash
// The contactless vouchers reduce risk of coronavirus’ transmission through handling cash
Marks & Spencer and Asda have both launched card vouchers to allow volunteers to pay and pick up shopping for elderly, vulnerable or self-isolating customers without cash.
The retailers said the new contactless cards reduce the risk of the virus’ transmission that comes through handling cash and targets volunteers who are collecting weekly shops for relatives and neighbours unable to leave their homes amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Shoppers can buy the volunteer cards on the M&S and Asda websites from today.
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They can be topped up with pre-paid credit and volunteers receive a barcode via email that can be used to pay for the shopping in-store.
M&S’s We’re All In This Together e-vouchers has no upper limit, but must have at least £10 and balances will not expire for 24 months.
Meanwhile, Asda’s volunteer shopping card has a £150 credit limit.
“We are continuing to work around the clock to look for new ways to support communities through Covid-19,” Asda chief executive Roger Burnley said.
“Over the last two weeks, we’ve brought in over 50 million core essentials for our customers.
“We have also made over 37,000 deliveries to our stores, ensuring our shops are safe and well-stocked for our customers to visit.
“We know that many people are relying on others in this time of need, and it is amazing to see how the country has come together and so many volunteers are giving their time to help others, so we wanted to help make it easier for them with this simple payment solution.”
M&S food managing director Stuart Machin said: “We’re all extremely grateful for the volunteers who are helping to deliver food to people in their local communities.
“Volunteer organisations have told us it can be challenging for people who are isolating to organise payment for their shopping, so we want to make it easier for volunteers and support our most vulnerable customers with an easy way to pay.
“This simple, yet effective initiative, means our customers can be confident that they can continue to receive the food they need while staying at home, without having to worry about exchanging cash or payment transfers.”