Benefits provider Asperity Employee Benefits has launched a package of measures to make supermarket savings easier to use for hard-pressed employees of its clients.

The company runs benefits programmes for over 130 clients including Lloyds TSB, IBM and Kent County Council that allows them to buy discounted retail vouchers for top chains including Sainsbury’s, Waitrose, ASDA and Somerfield with discounts of up to 13%. The discounts are popular, with Asperity reporting a monthly retail voucher volume of over three quarters of a million pounds in November.

Discounts are either voucher based or, as with ASDA, card based. ASDA gift cards are sent free to employees requesting them and can then be topped up by employees on the web, telephone or by SMS text message. With every top up Asperity adds an extra 5% of money as a bonus and there are no transaction charges for employees paying by debit card. So employees topping up with £100 actually get £105 added to their ASDA gift card, which they can then spend in any ASDA store. Asperity has been running the ASDA gift card programme for over a year now and has seen usage soar throughout 2008 with tens of thousands of employee pounds flowing through the system each week.

Asperity’s MD, Glenn Elliott said “We’ve got a lot of experience of running discounts, retail voucher and card programmes for clients and the key is to keep them simple and eliminate unnecessary charges which employees hate. Our ASDA gift card programme, for example, is simple to use with cards sent free, top-ups free of charge and no postage or other charges involved. Removing handling, postage and transaction charges gets maximum employee engagement and that’s what employers rightly demand.”

“People expect excellent value for money from ASDA and it’s great to see the benefits of its gift cards being passed onto Asperity’s clients,” said Graham Sellors, Managing Director of ASDA Business Rewards. “Exciting developments are on the horizon for ASDA gift cards in 2009 which will bring further benefits to customers, including a new Gift Card Management System which will allow employee benefit schemes to be controlled online”.

Asperity provides benefits programmes to some of the UK’s largest employers and services well over 1million employees in the public and private sector.