Barclaycard is piloting a service to deliver instant digital purchase receipts to customers through a partnership with fintech startup Flux, which launched last year with the aim of eliminating paper receipts.

So far one merchant—U.K. restaurant chain EAT—is participating in the pilot encompassing 10,000 customers who may receive detailed information about their purchases in the Barclaycard mobile app, Flux said in a Monday press release. Flux and Barclaycard are both based in London.

Barclays sign
Bloomberg News

Starling Bank and Monzo Bank are also working with Flux on pilots to provide consumers with digital receipts, according to Flux's release.

Flux integrates its software with merchant terminals, enabling banks to receive detailed purchase information, versus the spare data of the merchant and transaction amount that banks typically receive, according to the release.

Banks have long wanted to gain access to information about consumers’ specific purchases—or SKU-level data—for vital marketing and loyalty insights, but the barriers to accomplishing that are high, analysts note.

Typically banks require a direct connection to a merchant’s payment terminal to get detailed purchase information, a process that implies a degree of painstaking integration with merchants, said Zil Bareisis, a senior analyst with London-based Celent. Merchants are also reluctant to share this data with banks, he added.

“Merchants like to keep SKU-level close to their chest for their own analytics and loyalty programs,” Bareisis said.

It’s certainly worth watching, but without other merchants on board, it’s too early to gauge the potential success of Barclaycard’s pilot with EAT, he said.

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