SHOPPERS will be able to spend in cash but receive their change electronically thanks to an app invented by a Bournemouth business.

The creators of Shrap say it will help people continue using notes without the inconvenience of handling change.

The app is being launched in Bournemouth later this month, with plans to expand throughout the UK.

Shrap has been accepted into the Financial Conduct Authority’s “sandbox” – which allows firms to test products and services in a controlled environment, with protection for consumers.

The recent Access to Cash Review found eight million people nationally – 17 per cent of the population – believed cash was still an economic necessity.

Shrap’s mobile app allows retailers to issue change electronically in the shop, in a free, anonymous “micro-transaction” with the customer.

Customers store the change with the app and can spend it electronically or move it into a bank account. Payments to shops or other Shrap users can be made for free, while withdrawals to bank accounts cost 90p.

Retailers set up a direct debit, create a “digital float” and use it to pay customers for free.

Shrap’s creators say the app will keep money in the economy instead of it being “lost” in small change. It is estimated that the value of change held in UK coin jars alone is £1.3billion, with millions more pounds disappearing “down the back of the sofa” or being discarded.

Chris Forero-Slee, chief executive of Shrap, said: “After two years of rigorous testing and development of our product, we are delighted to have been accepted into the FCA sandbox, and are excited about the prospects of our alternative to cumbersome, inconvenient coins becoming the standard way that consumers and retailers can make and manage micro-payments.

“There are many positive possibilities that will become apparent through the adoption and use of Shrap, and we’re looking forward to users discovering them.

“As a Bournemouth-based company, we are also delighted to be launching here in our home town, and excited for those who get to try out this much-needed alternative to coins.”