UK supermarket giant Asda has abandoned paper gift vouchers, replacing them in all 250 stores with a hi-tech, rechargeable, everlasting electronic gift card.
 
The credit-card sized gift card is already in use in the US at Asda's parent company, Wal-Mart, where it is one of the retailing giant's biggest selling items.

Asda explained that customers can buy the cards in three designs at any till or customer service desk, for any amount between £1 and £500, which is electronically loaded.
 
The company also insisted that the gift cards are "far more shopper-friendly than the paper vouchers"; being everlasting (they can be re-loaded with additional sums) fraud-beating (deactivated easily if lost or stolen) and flexible (for full or part payment).
 
Customer service director Sally Hopson said: "Our new 'everlasting' gift card really takes the hassle out of choosing the right present."