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WEST YORKSHIRE, United Kingdom - Asda has become the first UK retailer to abandon paper gift vouchers, replacing them in all 250 stores with electronic gift cards. The credit-card sized gift card - already in use in America at Asda's parent company, Wal-Mart - is one of Wal-Mart's biggest selling items at its U.S. stores, according to the company.
Customers purchase the card at customer service desks, and have three designs to choose from with any amount between 1pound and 500 pounds that is electronically loaded. They also receive a receipt that bears the card's unique number.
Shoppers can check their balance at any checkout or by calling Asda Customer Service.
The gift card comes in three versions: a George gift card for clothing, a music and video gift card, and an Asda gift card for chocolates, flowers, toys and other gifts.
Regardless of the version of the card a customer holds, they can use it to purchase any item from Asda stores, with the exception of petrol, products sold from the kiosk, and Asda Call Time.