U.K.-based grocer Sainsbury's is readying a contactless payment shopping app that allows consumers to pick out items before they even get to the store and confirm payment upon leaving through a "payment zone."

Sainsbury's will begin offering customers a contactless payment app prior to the Christmas shopping season, with plans for all of its 1,300 stores to accept the system by the middle of next year.

The grocery chain has been testing a shop-and-go app in some of its London-area stores, allowing a shopper to create lists by scanning bar codes online prior to visiting a store, according to U.K. media reports.

Upon entering the store, the app provides the user with current pricing and aisle location of the products on the shopping list.

In a similar manner as Apple Pay, the Sainsbury app requires the user to scan a photo of the payment card, link it a Sainsbury account and store it to make contactless payments that are confirmed in an area possibly bounded by beacons or another QR code scan to ensure checkout, reports said. Sainsbury’s sends payment receipts directly to the shopper’s phone.

Shoppers receive loyalty points to their Sainsbury account, based on what was purchased, as they leave the store.

Neither Sainsbury's website nor media reports in the U.K. revealed a specific date and store locations for the contactless payment rollout.

Earlier this year, the Mercadona grocery chain in Spain became one of the first in Europe to incorporate Apple Pay.

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