Target is expanding its payment capabilities, adding Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay and contactless options from Visa, Mastercard and Discover. The new payment methods will complement the existing Wallet function of the Target app, reducing friction at checkout.
Contactless payment technology is taking off: 95% of all new checkout terminals are contactless-ready, according to Mastercard. Additionally, Visa projects that there will be more than 100 million contactless Visa cards issued in the U.S. by the end of 2019, and Apple Pay already is available at 65% of retail locations in the U.S.
Target has adopted other tools to reduce checkout friction. Before the 2018 holiday season began, the retailer empowered associates with “skip-the-line” technology that lets them scan any item in a guest’s basket or shopping cart, and accept payment by credit card on the spot from anywhere in the store.
While cashierless concepts such as Amazon Go are gaining steam, so far they have been limited to stores with smaller footprints. Industry experts believe simpler payment methods can generate a more immediate benefit by reducing a familiar frustration associated with brick-and-mortar shopping trips — long checkout lines.
“While checkout-free stores are grabbing headlines, it’s incremental steps like this that have an immediate and powerful impact on promoting a frictionless customer experience,” said Michael Jaszczyk, CEO of GK Software USA in commentary provided to Retail TouchPoints. “The highlight for me is the integration with the Wallet feature in the Target App that connects the payments process to loyalty and discounting opportunities, delivering a seamless all-in-one benefit at the checkout. While adopting contactless payments doesn’t seem like a radical departure from existing processes, it is a key step towards the goal of eliminating existing pain points. Importantly, it’s also a move that other retailers can easily follow, and we’ll continue to see more retailers adopt contactless and mobile payments in the coming months.”
Other retailers recently introducing alternate payment methods include:
- 7-Eleven debuted Scan & Pay, which lets shoppers add items to their cart and pay from their mobile phones, at 14 Dallas-area stores in November 2018, with plans to add additional venues in 2019;
- Fairway Market rolled out its own self-checkout app, which also provides product recommendations, in November 2018; and
- CVS started accepting Apple Pay chainwide as of October 2018.