Kohl’s Upgrades Apple Pay

by Raymond Pucci 0

Kohl’s takes another bite of the Apple. Not the fruit, but Apple Pay. As the following report mentions, the Wisconsin-based retailer with 1163 stores in 49 states, is streamlining the Apple Pay process with a one tap checkout, available in late May. Additionally, Kohl’s combines Apple Pay checkout with the store loyalty program, which is currency neutral.

Kohl’s has announced that customers can now pay for their purchases with Kohl’s Chargestore-branded credit cards and simultaneously earn Yes2You Rewards loyalty points with a single tap using Apple Pay.

The combined functionality is currently available in approximately 250 Kohl’s stores in the United States, and the department store chain expects one-tap checkout to be available in all stores nationwide later this month.

Kohl’s is the first retailer to offer a one-tap solution for payments and rewards using Apple Pay. Customers can simply add both their Kohl’s Charge and Yes2You Rewards cards to Apple Pay and simultaneously pay and collect loyalty points upon checkout with oneTouch ID tap for verification.

Kohl’s has supported Apple Pay since June 2015, and last October it became the first retailer to allow store-branded cards to be used with the iPhone-based contactless payments service. JCPenney is also rolling out store card support.

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook said that Apple Pay is “growing at a tremendous rate,” with transaction volume up five times compared to a year ago and the service gaining one million new users per week. Apple Pay is currently available in the U.S., U.K., Canada, Australia, China, and Singapore.

Cook noted that Apple Pay will launch in additional regions “soon,” including Hong Kong and Spain through a partnership with American Express later this year. Visa and/orMasterCard support may also be coming soon in countries such as Brazil, Canada, Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore.

There have been recent rumblings that Apple Pay suffers from a low utilization rate. Apple has been guarded about releasing specific usage data, other than to report progress and how many people have simply signed up for Apple Pay. Many retailers are doing their part to support and promote Apple Pay, but other checkout payment options are increasingly available. Unfortunately, consumers have not been avid mobile wallet users. That’s their loss since the process is becoming simpler and stores are stepping up with loyalty points to boot.

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

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