A new scheme to save as you shop

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The Independent Online

Sainsbury's Bank has launched an innovative new service to allow shoppers to pay into their savings account at the checkout, in a move which it hopes will encourage more people to save.

Sainsbury's Bank has launched an innovative new service to allow shoppers to pay into their savings account at the checkout, in a move which it hopes will encourage more people to save.

The new service, called SaveBack, will work in a similar fashion to cash-back facilities - now commonplace in all supermarkets and other retail outlets. As customers pay for their shopping, those with a Sainsbury's Bank saving account will be asked if they want to put any money away. If they answer yes, then their debit and savings cards will be swiped, and customers will simply have to provide a signature.

The scheme has been designed to encourage customers to save more by making the process convenient - customers can put money away without having to make a trip to their bank or building society.

Tim Pile, the chief executive of Sainsbury's Bank, said: "We believe the biggest challenge to closing the savings gap now lies in finding ways to make it easier and more convenient for people to save. Introducing SaveBack and taking financial services to new environments such as the supermarket is a major stepping stone towards encouraging people to save more.

"Our research shows that 3.47 million people in full-time work are not saving any of their monthly income and 4.13 million are saving less than 5 per cent, around a third less than they should be setting aside."

Sainsbury's Bank said it hopes other retailers will work towards introducing a similar system to help close the savings gap. A report commissioned by the government and released this week, suggested that pensioners' incomes will decrease by a third over the next 30 years, if people do not save more, work longer, or the state pension is not increased.

The SaveBack scheme begins this week in seven stores around the country and will be rolled out to all 452 of Sainsbury's main stores by the middle of February next year.

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