St Albans in Hertfordshire has brought contactless technology into its shop windows to help boost the economy while keeping shoppers safe.

The technology is designed to help nervous customers feel safer when they are shopping and give retailers with small shop spaces the capacity to accommodate more shoppers outdoors.

Shoppers scan tags in shop windows using their smartphones, taking them directly to the shop website where they can browse and buy products to be ordered to their homes.

Restaurant and bar owners, along with hairdressers and beauty salons, are also trialling the tech where customers can scan the tags and book tables and appointments without entering the premises.

Thirteen shops have signed up to trial the technology so far.

Marketing consultant Jez Dutton who created the scheme said: “Right now, many independent high-street shops have been badly hit: they are either temporarily closed or they have to accommodate queuing outside and both are terrible for business. 

“However, they did have their shop windows and an online presence, and meanwhile everyone has quickly adopted contactless payment via their phones.

“Out of this was created contactless window shopping to ensure a fast, frictionless way of connecting the high street presence to the online one: finding products, booking appointments, seeing opening hours or even accessing menus. I’m delighted that St Albans is the first high street in the UK to roll this out and hopefully it will help many businesses get back on their feet sooner.”