Major Southeastern U.S. grocer, Publix, announced its new mobile pay system for Apple phones with Android soon to follow. Supermarkets have been late to the mobile app party, but are fast becoming more available. It helps now that NFC (Near Field Communications) POS terminals are more widely available in stores. Shoppers find they have another payment option. However, Mercator primary research data has shown sluggish use of mobile phone payments at POS, as many consumers continue to use their plastic. So how can merchants help expand the use of mobile payments? They should install integrated features besides payments on their apps such as loyalty programs and personalized marketing offers. Many QSRs have found these are the keys to customer engagement that drives incremental spending and more frequent store visits.
A Ledger article discussing more on this topic is excerpted below.
Publix Super Markets Inc. is rolling out a new mobile pay system through its smartphone app.
“By integrating a mobile pay solution within the Publix app, we can offer a way for our customers to plan, shop, save and pay with ease,” Publix spokesman Brian West said in an email to The Ledger. “Mobile payment through the Publix app on iOS (Apple devices) is currently being rolled out in phases throughout the company. Additionally, we plan to expand this service to Android devices.”
West declined to provide information on a timeline for rolling out mobile pay to all its 1,218 supermarkets, including 800 stores in Florida. Publix has had an Apple Pay pilot program for mobile pay “in a handful of our (14) Virginia locations,” he said.
Mobile pay allows customers to pay their grocery bills simply by installing an app on a smartphone and waving it by the scanner at checkout. The Publix app has long had a standard payment feature linked to a credit card that requires manual input from the user. Publix is holding other information about the mobile pay program close to the vest. West declined The Ledger’s request for an interview and did not follow up on other emails seeking additional information.
Overview by Raymond Pucci, Director, Merchant Services at Mercator Advisory Group