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Mobile Communications

Target is bringing mobile payments in-store but not through Apple Pay

You’ll soon be able to use your iPhone to pay at Target stores, but not in the form of Apple Pay.

Target is developing its own in-store mobile payments system this year, the company’s Chief Information and Digital Officer Michael McNamara told Recode. Target confirmed that its iOS apps will soon include the capability to pay with smartphones, but it won’t be adopting Apple Pay for in-store checkout.

The retailer has a flagship app (iTunes link) for online shopping, as well as a Cartwheel app (iTunes link) that lets customers utilize digital coupons during checkout. Target declined to confirm which app, or if both, would be integrating its own mobile pay system. Initially, Target’s own system will be available only to customers who have a REDCard, the retailer’s debit and credit cards for savings and free shipping.

Target’s main app currently lets you use Apple Pay for online shopping, but the retailer has refused to adopt Apple Pay in-stores. 

The impact on you: According to TechCrunch, 27 million Target shoppers have installed the Cartwheel app, so it seems to be the logical choice for integrating mobile payments. The iOS app already lets customers use a barcode during checkout to apply coupons. Target could easily let these customers add their REDCard information to this app so they can pay using their iPhone. 

This means that Target shoppers will have to install an additional app to be able to use mobile payments. Besides, using an in-app barcode to checkout won’t always as fast, convenient, or efficient as using Apple Pay.

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