by Raymond Pucci 0

Add another mobile pay to the merchant marketplace with the launch of CVS Pay. The pharmacy and healthcare services giant will be rolling out an integrated mobile application beginning with the Mid-Atlantic states as the following article describes.

Drugstore chain CVS Health announced that it will start accepting in-store payments through its existing mobile application, with USA Today reporting it will launch the effort in markets including New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware before mounting a nationwide rollout by the end of the year.

The new CVS Pay feature will be integrated into the retailer’s flagship CVS Pharmacy app alongside ExtraCare loyalty rewards and prescription drug pickup capabilities. To use CVS Pay, customers first add their credit or debit card in the CVS Pharmacy app. When they are ready to check out, they’ll show the CVS store associate the barcode in their app: The associate will scan the barcode, ring up the purchase, and process the payment.

Research from eMarketer shows that nearly one in five Americans are expected to use smartphones to make in-store purchases this year, which amounts to about 37.5 million users, up 62% over 2015.

CVS, along with Wal-Mart and several other retailers, had been involved in the CurrentC payment app consortium, until that project stalled in recent months. Now, like Wal-Mart, CVS is choosing to pour its payment app energies into a native app.

CVS is joining what is turning out to be a long list of retailers that are developing their own integrated mobile apps for payments, ordering, and loyalty programs. Walmart recently introduced their own pay system, adding to others such as PayPal, Amazon, Visa Pay, Masterpass, not to forget Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay… get the idea. At what point will consumers be saturated with the alternative payment systems? How many payment apps and mobile wallet cards must you have? Certainly, many retailers are trying to emulate Starbucks, thus far considered the leader of the mobile pay apps. Expect other retailers to follow suit and join the bandwagon to a point of overload.

Overview by Raymond Pucci, Associate Director, Research Services at Mercator Advisory Group

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