Tesco has teamed up with technology firm PowaTag to test a mobile payment platform that allows shoppers to pay via QR code.

In a bid to get people to try the service the grocer gave away free lunches this week in a Tesco Express store in Soho, London to the first 500 people who paid using a QR code.

To use the service, shoppers needed to download the PowaTag app and enter their card details, choose their meal deal – consisting of a sandwich, a snack and a drink – and scan the PowaTag QR code to pay. They can also use PowaTag to pay normally for products in the store for the rest of the week between October 13 and 17.

PowaTag enables shoppers to buy goods using their mobiles, with a variety of different stimuli being used as prompts for payments.

PowaTag’s QR codes have been used by French retailer Comptoir des Cotonnieres, but other triggers such as images can also be used to take a shopper to the online product page so that they can purchase the item on their mobile. This is the first time the service has been trialled for in-store payment.