Walgreens Is First To Integrate Apple Pay With Its Own Loyalty Program
Drug store giant Walgreens has just revealed that it is planning to seamlessly integrate Apple Pay, the mobile payment system developed and launched by Apple in October of last year, into its own loyalty program. By doing so, Walgreens has become the first retailing corporation in the United States to fully incorporate Apple’s contactless mode of payment into a customer rewards platform. More importantly, the move should allow Walgreens’ more than 85 million members of its Balance Rewards program to easily use Apple Pay at checkout with the use of their iPhone or Apple Watch devices.
In order to take advantage of the capabilities of Apple Pay, customers will need to first supply their Rewards card information to Apple’s Wallet mobile app on iOS 9, and then have their finger scanned via Touch ID while holding their smartphone within the vicinity of a contactless reader while at checkout. As for owners of the Apple Watch, they can double click the side button, select their Rewards card, and then hold the watch face in front of the reader.
Apple made a clever move in starting to support for loyalty cards beginning this year, and timed it perfectly with the announcement of iOS 9, the tech giant’s latest version of its iOS mobile operating system. Apart from loyalty card support, Apple also took the opportunity to further enhance its contactless mode of payment, rebranding its Passbook into Wallet as well as allowing for store cards and rewards cards. Retailing companies such as Kohl’s, JC Penney, and BJ’s have already revealed that they would work at achieving Apple Pay compatibility with their own respective store cards.
Outside retail giants, other well known brands are also joining in on the fun. As a matter of fact, familiar names such as Coca-Cola, Dunkin Donuts, Panera Bread, and Wegmans Food Markets are already planning to to integrate Apple Pay into their own respective loyalty programs. But none of them will eclipse the scope of Walgreens’ integration -- for instance, Kohl’s is already mighty impressive, covering some 30 million members. Walgreens’, though, reaches more than 80 million members in number.
Prior to getting support for Apple Pay, members of Walgreens’s Rewards needed to scan their card at checkout before they can complete payment for purchases. Now, people have the option of using the method in the preceding sentence, or pulling up the card in the Wallet mobile app and then scan the barcode.