The Kroger Co. announced the launch of a contactless payments pilot across the QFC division, located in Seattle, allowing customers to use their mobile device for a more seamless checkout experience. The pilot includes the acceptance of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Fitbit Pay, mobile banking apps and contactless chip cards, underpinned by near-field communication (NFC) technology. Kroger's technology team recently enabled NFC payments at 61 QFC stores. The QFC pilot supports the more than 30 policy and process changes Kroger has implemented since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic to promote social distancing and safeguard associates and customers.
Total Retail's Take: As retailers look to welcome consumers back into their brick-and-mortar stores, they're focused on making the shopping experience as safe as possible for customers. One way they're doing that is by accepting contactless payments, eliminating the need for customer-cashier interaction, including the transfer of cash. Michael Jaszczyk, CEO, GK Software USA, shares his insight about the latest in-store technology implementation from Kroger:
“Kroger launching contactless payments is a smart and necessary move," Jaszczyk told Total Retail. "Retailers need to provide the seamless and faster payment options that customers demand, and adopting contactless payment is a key step towards eliminating existing pain points. This is especially true since the pandemic, which has led to more use of contactless credit cards as a safe no-touch payment option for consumers. The future of checkout means fast, contactless payment options that promote a frictionless customer experience, and we will see more leading retailers investing in these technologies as they look to provide the flexibility, speed and convenience that customers are looking for.”