Walgreens Turns into First Retailer To Combine Its Loyalty Program With Apple Pay
Drug retailer chain Walgreens introduced this morning its loyalty program will now be obtainable by means of Apple Pay – making it the primary U.S. retailer to combine their buyer rewards platform with Apple’s cellular funds service. The added help will permit the chain’s over eighty five million Stability Rewards members the power to make use of Apple Pay at checkout utilizing both their iPhone or Apple Watch.
To make use of the service, clients need to first add their Rewards card info to Apple’s Pockets app on iOS 9, then place their finger on Contact ID whereas holding the telephone close to the contactless reader at checkout. Apple Watch house owners, as an alternative, can double-click on the aspect button, decide their Rewards card, then maintain their watch resist the reader.
Apple Pay’s help for loyalty playing cards was introduced earlier this yr, alongside iOS 9. The function was a part of an upgraded Apple Pay expertise, which additionally included the rebranding of “Passbook” to “Pockets.” Along with cost playing cards, like credit score and debit playing cards, the brand new Pockets app additionally permits for retailer playing cards and rewards playing cards. Different retailers, together with Kohl’s, JC Penney and BJ’s stated they might supply Apple Pay compatibility with their very own retailer playing cards.
Dunkin Donuts, Panera Bread, Coca-Cola, and Wegmans Meals Markets are planning loyalty card integrations, too. Walgreens, although, will probably be one of many bigger integrations, in addition to the primary. Kohl’s rewards packages, for instance, has 30 million members versus Walgreens’ eighty million plus.
“We’re excited to be the primary to offer our clients with elevated ease of entry to their Stability Rewards account and knowledge when utilizing Apple Pay,” stated Sona Chawla, president of digital and chief advertising officer for Walgreens, in a press release. “This providing helps our dedication to eradicating friction and enabling a easy and handy buyer expertise.”
Earlier than Apple Pay help, Walgreens Rewards card members must scan their card at checkout earlier than making their cost. You would do that both utilizing a bodily card offered by the retailer, or you might pull up the cardboard in Passbook (now Pockets) then scan the barcode. With Apple Pay, nevertheless, the method is a little more automated as the knowledge is shipped digitally by means of Apple’s NFC-based mostly funds platform.
Nevertheless, if you use loyalty playing cards with Apple Pay, you possibly can’t simply faucet your telephone one time and have all of the cost and reward information despatched in a single shot. As an alternative, you must faucet your telephone (or Watch) as soon as to ship your loyalty information, then a second time to truly pay via your credit score or debit card. The method could also be solely barely quicker than swiping a card, however could also be speedier general because you don’t need to dig round in your pockets or purse first to tug out the cardboard within the first place.
Walgreens was already one of many first retailers to simply accept Apple Pay, so it’s not shocking that it’s additionally one of many first companions to go reside with help for loyalty playing cards.
Apple’s cellular cost service has been steadily rising, seeing double-digit progress month-over-month, and help from over 600 banks within the U.S. and U.Okay. The corporate stated this June that Apple Pay was poised to prime a million supported places within the U.S. – a quantity which has now reached. By yr-finish, it expects to be reside in 1.5 million shops.